Waymo Bringing Self-Driving Vehicles to Florida to Test Heavy Rain Conditions
MIAMI, FL. – According to a news story reported online at futurecar.com, Waymo is bringing its self-driving vehicle to Florida in August to test how they perform in heavy rain conditions. Waymo is an autonomous vehicle technology company owned by Alphabet Inc., which is the corporation that owns Google.*
During the summertime, Miami, Florida, sees more rain than most cities in the United States. It accumulates an average of 62 inches of rain and has extremely heavy rains during the hurricane season of summer. The weather conditions of summer mean that Miami is an ideal place for self-driving vehicle companies to try to understand how their cars operate in the rain, and company Waymo is taking advantage of that.
In a blog post that is dated August 20, Waymo said that it was planning to start testing its autonomous vehicles in Miami later in the month. The company indicated that it wanted to see how the vehicles’ sensory systems and cameras performed in situations of light and heavy rain. The testing operations will start in a closed course, which will be set up in Naples, Florida.
After testing in Naples concludes, Waymo vehicles will move onto the streets of Miami. The vehicles, which will include the Waymo Chrysler Pacifica and the Waymo Jaguar I-Pace, will be operated by human test drivers during this time. The vehicles will be tested not only on how they respond to the rain itself, but also on how they respond to pedestrians and bicyclists during a rain event.
During a rainstorm, people might behave unpredictably — sprinting across a street to find shelter, pulling out large, colorful umbrellas, running along the sidewalk — which will test the vehicles’ abilities to recognize pedestrians and learn from their behavior. The frequent rain in Miami will provide a valuable learning environment, Waymo says.
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