Autonomous driving Volvo opts for Waymo for new ride-hailing service

Autonomous driving Volvo opts for Waymo for new ride-hailing service
Autonomous driving Volvo opts for Waymo 

The Volvo Car Group wants to set up a ridehailing service with Waymo’s autonomous driving technology. The Waymo Driver will be used in vehicles from Volvo, the subsidiary Polestar and the brand Lynk & Co. The Chinese parent company Geely has not yet set a timetable for this.

The autonomous driving system of Waymo, called Waymo Driver, is intended to enable autonomous vehicles according to SAE level 4. With the high level of automation according to level 4, the eyes-off principle is provided, in which drivers no longer have to monitor the traffic, which is also the case with level 3, but as a decisive difference also no longer has to be prepared, to take the wheel.

Level 4 on predefined routes

Level 4 also provides for arrangements such as geofencing on certain routes or urban areas. A Level 4 vehicle cannot drive autonomously on all tracks. However, this would not be necessary for a ridehailing service, as the Volvo Car Group is planning, as it is likely to cover only a certain catchment area.

Vehicles according to SAE level 4 are also still equipped with a steering wheel and basically also allow manual driving, while a Level 5 car would do without a steering wheel. In the ridehailing service, despite the steering wheel, the vehicles would also be on the roads without passengers. Users book the vehicle via an app, which then drives autonomously to the customer and then to the destination previously entered in the app.

So far, however, the Volvo Car Group and Waymo, which is part of the Alphabet Group, have only announced the partnership, but so far there is no (public) timetable for implementation or the planned markets.

Fifth Generation Waymo Driver

The fifth generation of the Waymo Driver, which was only introduced in March, shows how far Waymo is with technology. The autonomous driving system consists of several lidar, camera and radar systems and detects objects over 500 metres away. As of March 2020, Waymo has driven 32 million kilometers autonomously on public roads and has spent another 16 billion kilometers in the simulator.

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