John Krafcik, CEO Waymo, has said that latest set of self-driving hardware and software, incorporates a new array of sensors, including an enhanced vision system, improved radar and lidar, all developed and built in-house.
Krafcik said Waymo had reduced the cost of a single lidar unit by 90 percent, to about $7,500. Among major outside suppliers of this technology, Velodyne Lidar Inc and Quanergy Systems Inc both have said they are developing smaller solid-state lidar units that eventually would cost $200 or less.
Waymo’s existing test fleet of self-driving cars, including some specially equipped Lexus RX450s and Google’s own “Firefly” prototypes, has accumulated nearly 2.5 million miles in less than eight years, mostly on city streets.
Krafcik said Waymo planned to test the first self-driving Pacificas this month on public roads in California and Arizona. He did not say when the system would be ready to install in production vehicles.
Delphi Automotive Plc and Mobileye have said they are collaborating on a self-driving system that could be sold to automakers beginning in 2019.