While part of the activity has come to a halt due to the current pandemic, many companies are facing challenges in an attempt to keep their projects moving forward.
This is the case of Waymo, which announced that it was suspending its tests in real conditions in order to protect the safety of the passengers and to avoid contact between people. The Alphabet subsidiary also chose to suspend all of its commercial operations dedicated to Waymo One in Phoenix (Arizona, USA).
Simulate more than a century of driving in 24 hours
Waymo must now face a technical challenge of choice, that is to say that of continuing to develop its autonomous systems without being able to drive its vehicles on the roads. And this for several weeks, or even several months, knowing that American society – and others – have not encountered such a challenge in the past.
However, Waymo seems to have found an alternative, as the firm is capable of virtually simulating more than a century of driving in just 24 hours in order to teach its system to adopt good practices. Currently, the Alphabet subsidiary says it has simulated more than 15 billion kilometers of driving to date.
Waymo said in a press release: " Waymo's simulation technology allows us to create completely simulated scenarios using data from what we have seen and experienced while driving in the real world. In simulation, we can manipulate the environment around our Waymo Driver to assess how it will react to various situations "
To make this possible, Waymo has adapted its systems as much as possible so that its employees can access them remotely and telecommute. This adaptation to the health crisis is reminiscent of some of the NASA teams, which drive the Curiosity rover on Mars directly from their homes so that the device continues its mission on the red planet.