Waymo to focus on mass-produced vehicles as it retires its line of Firefly test vehicles

Alphabet Inc's self-driving car unit Waymo said it is retiring its line of Firefly test vehicles to focus on integrating its technology into mass-produced vehicles. Waymo would work towards equipping its initial fleet of 600 Chrysler Pacifica minivans with custom-built radar and vision systems, and an all-new artificial intelligence compute platform, to enable the cars to see even further and sharper, the company said.

"By focusing on mass-produced vehicles like the Pacifica minivan, we'll be able to bring fully self-driving technology to more people, more quickly," Waymo said in a blog post. The latest technology will also allow the self-driving minivans to reach full speed compared with the Firefly, which was limited to 25 miles per hour.

According to reports, Waymo and Uber became fierce rivals when the former had sued and filed a lawsuit against the latter for allegedly stealing trade secrets and self-driving technology from it. It had also asked the court to stop Uber from using the information they claim as their own.

Waymo used to essentially come under their secretive research unit called as Google X.  Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler, Google’s first partner, teamed up with the tech company in May to work together to integrate Google’s self-driving system with the carmaker’s minivans.


Updated Date: Jun 14, 2017 07:28 AM