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At Waymo, we use simulation to advance the Waymo Driver's abilities in several ways. We can amplify our number of real-world miles to accelerate our Driver’s learning, prepare for rare events, train new models, validate new software, and even evaluate how the Waymo Driver would have performed in actual fatal crashes that have already occurred. For simulation to be valuable as a learning tool, it has to closely match our target domain – performing rider-only trips for Waymo One and goods delivery trips for Waymo Via in the real world– in which case, there is only one question that matters. Did the Waymo Driver safely and efficiently complete the trip?

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Editor’s note: We first heard from Sophia on social media, where she’s been sharing fun videos of her Waymo One rides. We reached out to learn more about what intrigued her about Waymo in the first place and how autonomous driving technology has become a part of her everyday life (and sparked a new passion!).
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Starting this weekend, researchers, developers, and engineers from all over the world will gather virtually for the 2021 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR). As a pioneer in the autonomous driving space, Waymo will host and speak in multiple workshops presenting its recent research work.
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As we build, deploy, and commercialize the Waymo Driver, it’s gratifying to see so much interest in being part of our journey to transform mobility, making it safer, more accessible, and more sustainable along the way. So we’re proud to announce our latest investment round of $2.5 billion, with participation from Alphabet, Andreessen Horowitz, AutoNation, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Magna International, Mubadala Investment Company, Perry Creek Capital, Silver Lake, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Temasek, and Tiger Global. We’ll use this latest round of investment to continue advancing the Waymo Driver, as well as continuing to grow our team.

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At Waymo, our team is more than engineers, designers, analysts, and autonomous specialists (what we call the trained human drivers behind the wheel) building the World’s Most Experienced Driver™. We are also cyclists, runners, equestrians, and active members of the communities in which we drive. So we know we have to keep the concerns of these vulnerable road users in mind as we create technology that can make our roads safer for everyone.
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Thumbnail: Waymo and J.B. Hunt

Getting goods where they need to go safely and easily is at the heart of Waymo Via’s mission. We’ve been carrying freight for customers since 2018, when we completed our first commercial pilot with Google’s Data Centers, and have continued to haul goods on behalf of other Fortune 500 companies across the southwest U.S. As we progress on this journey to commercialize the Waymo Driver for trucking, we’re now working with J.B. Hunt, one of the largest, most reputable, and most innovative transportation logistics companies in the U.S., to autonomously transport loads in Texas for one of their leading customers.

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Thumbnail: The biggest surprise has been the pace at which it has developed - both fast and slow! It is mind boggling to see how far it has come in a relatively short period. Ben, Waymo One Rider

Editor’s Note: In our next “Why I Ride with Waymo,” we catch up with the Henderson family. After moving to Phoenix in 2018, they quickly found a new mode of transportation, the Waymo Driver, when they signed up as part of our early rider program. Over the years, the Henderson family has experienced our technology transform and helped refine it through their great feedback.

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