In the morning news on March 9th, Beijing time, according to reports, Alphabet’s self-driving car company Waymo released a white paper showing that they discovered through a set of virtually reproduced fatal accidents that the company’s technology can avoid or in most cases. Reduce the impact at that time.
This simulation is based on 72 fatal traffic accidents that occurred in Chandler, Arizona, USA from 2008 to 2017. Waymo currently uses its "Driver" sensors and software to run driverless taxi services there on a small scale. Twenty of these accidents involved pedestrians or cyclists.
"I believe that if we use Waymo Driver instead of human drivers, we have the opportunity to improve road traffic safety." Waymo safety research and best practice director Trent Victor said in a blog post, "This A study corroborates this view."
Studies have shown that only when the driverless car suffers an impact from the rear, the Driver system cannot avoid or mitigate the accident. Waymo said that although this white paper is not an independent evaluation report, it is the first time a driverless startup company has shared the performance of its own system in an actual fatal traffic accident.
Waymo said that they released this report mainly for public interest, not regulatory policies. But the company said in October last year that it hopes to start discussions around safety standards in the shared industry and legislative support for driverless technology. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also recognizes that simulation is the key to the development of driverless technology.
This driverless car company, which belongs to the same parent company as Google, has abundant funds in the industry today. They are stepping up the commercialization of driverless cars, and safety has become their main selling point. General Motors' Cruise and Amazon's Zoox are also developing driverless car taxis, and they test hundreds of thousands of kilometers on public roads every year. But Waymo is still regarded as a pioneer in this industry, partly because they have launched a small-scale pilot service in Arizona.
Waymo admits in the white paper that simulating traffic accidents caused by humans does not fully prove that unmanned driving technology has been able to deal with all the factors that may cause accidents. The white paper also specifically mentions that human drivers misinterpret the behavior of driverless cars, causing them to take different response measures when encountering emergencies.
Waymo acted as both the accident trigger vehicle and the crashed vehicle in the simulation test.
In fact, this technology does not take too many unusual measures. In 52 simulations where Waymo acted as an accident trigger vehicle, it avoided the entire accident simply by observing traffic rules, including giving way appropriately, observing signal lights, and observing speed limits.
In one of the accidents, a human driver caused an accident by running a red light, but Waymo Driver did not do so.
"In some cases where capabilities are exaggerated, transparency is the key to winning public trust." BloombergNEF analyst Alejandro Zamorano-Cadavid said. "These post-mortem tests It is a good way to evaluate Waymo Driver, and hope that other companies can also announce the performance of their systems under the same conditions."