Waymo, the autonomous car company of Alphabet – Google’s parent company – presented its fifth generation virtual driver, which represents an improvement in hardware and software for the autonomous driving of its vehicles.
Released through its blog in a post on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Waymo ensures that the update offers a broader and more accurate view of the environment that surrounds it, compared to the previous four generations.
To do this, the company improved the Lidar system (acronym for Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging and used by all autonomous cars), since it now offers a better resolution in the 360-degree image with a range of 300 meters. Likewise, Waymo said it improved the camera system by overlapping the fields of view and improving its stability – which, according to the company, allows it to distinguish pedestrians or signs from 500 meters away. And this complemented with a better radar system that allows to distinguish more details in moving objects.
According to Waymo, this new generation is the product of more than a decade of work. Also, after achieving better economies of scale, the company said it has reduced sensor costs while increasing the computing capacity of the entire system.
The company has already manufactured and integrated the next-generation sensor system in a Jaguar I-PACE, an all-electric vehicle with which all system tests were met to ensure the ability of autonomous cars in all types of circumstances. “With this fifth generation of hardware, we simplify the design and manufacturing process so it is ready for production and our latest sensors offer better performance than ever, at half the cost of our previous generations,” the company says. .
This same week, Waymo announced that it had conducted, for the first time in its history, a round of external financing in which it raised $ 2.25 billion, so the company owned by Alphabet has every excuse to continue celebrating.