Waymo, the Alphabet self-driving car company that was spun out of Google, is picking up speed.
The company’s autonomous vehicles just drove 8 million miles on public roads. What’s more, it took the company just one month to go from 7 million miles to 8 million miles driven.
“We’re driving now at the rate of 25,000 miles every day on public roads,” CEO John Krafcik said Friday while addressing the National Governors Association.
Waymo’s acceleration in logging miles with self-driving cars has picked up in the last year. In November 2017, it crossed 4 million miles. Less than a year later it’s doubled that figure.
Most of the miles are being driven in the Phoenix area where the company has been developing and testing an autonomous ride-share service using modified Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans. The company plans to launch that ride-share service to the public later this year in Arizona.
Krafcik’s vision for the company is to partner with automakers, cargo operators and public transportation companies so they incorporate Waymo’s technology. Unlike automakers such as General Motors that are developing their own self-driving systems, Waymo has no plans to build its own vehicles.
Instead, Waymo is looking to build “drivers,” systems that can safely steer vehicles without requiring a human to sit behind the steering wheel.
“As we scale our business and have hundreds and thousands of Waymo drivers on the road, each one of those drivers is going to be exactly the same,” said Krafcik. “It’s going to be the world’s most experienced driver.”
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