We all know bad or unsafe driving. We see it every day from road rage to tailgating to distraction to high speeds. Safe driving practices, such as staying out of other drivers’ blind spots and not tailgating are not just courtesies—they save lives and prevent deadly accidents. Self-driving technology holds the potential to improve road safety and save lives.
Waymo technology is designed to be a safe, cautious, and defensive driver to try and improve safety on our roads overall. That’s why these driving practices are programmed into Waymo as safety requirements to keep passengers and other road users safe.
With more than 7 billion miles of simulated driving experience and more than 10 million miles of on-road driving experience, Waymo's technology is designed to be the most experienced driver on the road. Waymo’s system possesses a deep, contextual understanding of the world so it can handle the task of everyday driving. This is a key aspect of what differentiates Waymo from other driver-assist technologies.
Waymo’s self-driving technology doesn’t just detect the presence of other objects; it actually understands what an object is, how it’s likely to behave, and how that should affect Waymo's own behavior on the road. This is how Waymo safely navigates roads in fully autonomous mode.
Through simulation, Waymo is able to build virtual scenarios, including those involving other vehicles, and practice them thousands of times. Engineers can even create slight variations in the scenarios to test how Waymo would respond and update Waymo’s software based on what they learn.