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Waymo is coming to NYC, but only to be trained by human drivers

By Roland Udvarlaki November 3, 2021, 1:45 pm
Google Waymo coming to NYC

Google started the company way back in 2019 and renamed it Waymo in 2016. Since then, the company’s vehicles have driven millions of miles on public roads, but they’ve only been available in cities like San Francisco. Today, Waymo announced that it will bring its autonomous vehicles to New York City to train the AI to learn the complex streets of Manhattan.

From November 4, Waymo will officially operate in Manhattan and test its self-driving vehicles in New York City. The Waymo map also reveals what area will be covered by the vehicles, which includes the Financial District (better known as Wall Street), the Carnegie Hall, Central Park, Chelsea, Union Square, and other popular and busy areas. The vehicles and their drivers will mostly focus on the western side of the borough, although some will also cross over to New Jersey (via 9to5Google).


Waymo also said in a statement that it will not be driving its vehicles in autonomous mode, which means that there will be dedicated drivers behind the wheel – for now – who will operate the vehicles and complete the journeys throughout the city. It’s clear that Waymo is trying to test different terrains and environments, including complex and busy streets where people often step on the street without looking or in a hurry. We’ll have to wait and see how the company’s system handles the complexity of New York.

“New York City is the most densely populated city in the country, with bustling avenues, unusual road geometries, complex intersections, and constantly evolving layouts, and we’ve designed the Waymo Driver to handle these types of complex and dynamic activities that define city driving. Our vehicles will be manually operated by autonomous specialists at all times, to help us scale and advance our technology in support of our mission to make roads safer.”


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