Waymo is taking huge steps in its self driving car programme as it opens applications to the public, whilst Uber continues to suffer setbacks.
Waymo have announced that they are accepting applications for members of the public to trial the autonomous vehicles, in the city of Phoenix, Arizona.
Not only does this mark the first time the public have been able to take part in Waymo’s trials, it also marks the largest test so far. In addition to the exist fleet, Waymo will be adding an additional 500 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans.
Waymo’s head, John Krafcik, said in a blog post: “Over the last eight years, we’ve been focused on the technology behind our self-driving cars: racking up millions of miles of experience, teaching our cars advanced driving skills, and improving the performance of our software.”
“Now, with this program, we’re turning our attention to the people who will benefit from this technology: people like Ted, Candace, and their kids, who will be using our self-driving cars in their daily lives.”
The pilot comes after much pitching from the Arizona government, and applications are now open to the public via Waymo’s website.
In the company’s on-going court case with Uber It has also emerged that a federal appeals court has denied Anthony Levandowski freedom from self-incrimination, saying that he must present the court with previously unseen documents.
Levandowski, who stands accused of stealing information from Waymo before leaving the company for Uber, has plead the 5th amendment in order to avoid self-incrimination.
In the past Uber has denied having access to the information that Levandowski allegedly stole, but Waymo have countered this claim by stating that this is because the company has had search Levandowski’s devices.
This could open up a new avenue in the case, and at a time when Uber continues to dominate the headlines with controversy, it seems that Waymo has been able to concentrate more thoroughly on completing its self driving cars.