Waymo’s driverless cars to become ‘more assertive’
WAYMO is to make its driverless cars less polite, as it admits they need to be more “assertive”.
The driverless car company, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, announced yesterday that its vehicles had driven 10 million miles on public roads, in 25 US cities.
Chief executive John Krafcik said the cars were “programmed to be cautious and courteous above all, because that’s the safest thing to do”.
“We’re working on striking the balance between this and being assertive as we master manoeuvres that are tough for everyone on the road.”
The cars have attracted criticism in areas where they are appearing on public roads. Some have complained about cars stopping suddenly or holding up traffic behind them at junctions.
Most of the testing so far has been with a human in the driver’s seat, to intervene if the car does something potentially dangerous. But the company has also begun testing without backup drivers.