It's bye-bye to the Firefly — Waymo retires its self-driving 'pod' car

Waymo, the company spun out from Google’s self-driving unit that continue its work, said on Monday its fleet of Fireflies, as the car is affectionately known, will be retired. Instead, the team will focus on integrating its autonomous technology into larger vehicles such as its new self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

Google unveiled the Firefly in 2014 before starting tests the following year on roads around its Mountain View headquarters. To try out its autonomous technology in a range of environments, the vehicle has also been seen tootling about in Austin, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; and Kirkland, Washington.

In a blog post, the team said that by turning its attention to mass-produced vehicles like the Pacifica, “we’ll be able to bring fully self-driving technology to more people, more quickly.”

It said its initial fleet of 600 minivans incorporate the latest custom-built radar, LiDAR, and vision systems, as well as its all-new AI computing system, “so they can see even further and sharper.”

15. Juni 2017

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