Waymo autonomous car

© Waymo

A few days ago, Waymo, the Google subsidiary dedicated to autonomous driving announced a fundraising of $ 2.25 billion. Today, on its blog, the brand has just unveiled the new generation of its autonomous driving system.

According to its designer, it would be able to detect traffic signs earlier. It would also be cheaper to produce.

Scheduled for I-Pace

This less expensive design should allow the manufacturer to produce more autonomous vehicles and bring them to the market more quickly. Satish Jeyachandran, director hardware at Waymo said: " With our fifth generation hardware, we have simplified the design and manufacturing process so that it is ready for production. […] Our latest sensors offer more performance than ever before, at half the cost of our previous generation "

In its press release, Waymo adds: " We have already manufactured and integrated the first of our new generation sensors on our Jaguar I-PACE platform. With the first of these new vehicles, we have performed comprehensive module and system level tests to ensure that our next generation hardware can withstand whatever the roads may present, from bad weather and salty roads to extreme heat and dust storms "

The new system will therefore take place on a future version of the I-Pace, the electric SUV from Jaguar. Waymo announced that it had immediately signed an agreement with the brand to purchase 20,000 copies. These will be used first, reports The Verge, to provide a new carpooling service in the suburbs of Phoenix, in the United States.

Waymo autonomous car

© Waymo

Detection at 500 meters

The new system is based on improved sensors including cameras, radars and LiDAR systems. All have been changed from the previous generation. The system now includes 29 cameras integrated into the vehicle body. According to Waymo, they are the ones who will " see much further than before ”, Authorizing the detection of a pedestrian or a red light up to 500 meters. According to the designer, these cameras will also have " overlapping field of vision, with high dynamic range and thermal stability " Features that should allow the vehicle to remain operational in more difficult conditions.

Regarding radars, Waymo does not give figures, but claims that its system will have a higher resolution and a wider field of vision. Finally, on the LiDAR side, Waymo said that its new laser emission sensors could "see" up to 300 meters. He explains that this system " paints a 3D image of its environment, allowing to measure the size and the distance of objects around our vehicle, whether they are close to or more than 300 meters " Other lidars, this time at close range, are planned for urban traffic and covering blind spots.

Source: The Verge.