Unmanned Waymo vehicles covered more than 16 billion kilometers … but not on the ground

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Hardly to doubt that sooner or later unmanned vehicles will become one of the main means of transport. In fact, many large companies such as Uber or Yandex are testing their autopilot versions with all their strength and care. Not far behind, and Waymo, self-driving cars that have covered more than 16 billion kilometers. At first glance, this is just a giant figure! But as they say, there is a nuance.

How to test unmanned vehicles

According to Waymo, his test drones have now traveled more than 16 billion kilometers in a virtual test environment. What's this? This is a special program for simulating road conditions. In it, different driving situations are modeled 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The simulation can recreate any environment. From complex accidents to dense traffic in huge megacities.

"We drove ten billion miles in the simulation," says CTO Dmitri Dolgov of #TCMobility pic.twitter.com/NHtL90wJLX

– Waymo (@Waymo) July 10, 2019

To date, more than 25,000 virtual Waymo cars are taking part in the tests. All data obtained is used to improve the performance of the autopilot control algorithms.

Self-driving cars already left on the streets of cities

But do not think that Waymo is limited to testing in virtual reality. In fact, the company has real results that can boast. Although they are not that impressive. During tests on these roads, the United States covered more than 16 million kilometers.

See also: Unmanned vehicles driving unattended through the streets of the city.

But if unmanned cars drive successfully on real roads, why should they be tested in a virtual environment? The answer to this question was given by Waymo CTO Dmitry Dolgov:

"At present, there are only a few places in the US where you can test drones. And they are clearly not enough to learn neural networks. The number of hours on real and virtual roads shows how well our system works. In the real world, many different situations are possible on the road that simply can not be simulated during a live test. When the system collects data from both sources, it is well prepared for any traffic situation. "

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