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Designing a driver for autonomous vehicles is one of the things we do best here at Waymo, but few people are familiar with what that entails and how it differs from designing the car itself. Whereas a traditional car is one platform usually designed for one purpose, we’ve designed our recently unveiled fifth-generation Waymo Driver to apply to multiple vehicle platforms and power a variety of different use cases, from moving people with Waymo One to transporting goods with Waymo Via.
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ThumbnailLast August, we invited the research community to join us in accelerating self-driving technology with the release of one of the largest multi-sensor self-driving datasets available today. Even as COVID-19 continues to develop, we are committed to fostering an environment of innovation and learning - one that can continue to grow and thrive in our temporarily virtual world. That is why today, we are launching the next phase of our program: expanding the Waymo Open Dataset by an additional 800 segments and inviting researchers to participate in Waymo’s Open Dataset Challenges.
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At Waymo, we’re building the World's Most Experienced Driver - our combination of hardware, software, and compute that powers vehicles to safely get people and things where they’re going.
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Today, Waymo is announcing our first external investment round, led by Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Mubadala Investment Company. Additional investors in this initial $2.25 billion close include Magna International, Andreessen Horowitz, and AutoNation, as well as Alphabet.
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At Waymo, we use machine learning to detect and classify different types of objects and road features. The powerful neural nets that make up our perception system learn to recognize objects and their corresponding behaviors from labeled examples of everything our Waymo Driver encounters, from joggers and cyclists, to traffic light colors and temporary road signs, or even trees and shrubs. Over the past decade we have built up an enormous collection of objects captured by our powerful custom-designed hardware.
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We’ve built the Waymo Driver so that it can be deployed across a variety of vehicle platforms, as well as business applications that encompass not only transporting people, but also transporting goods. At Waymo, our mission is to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going so it’s important that we focus on creating a safer driving experience for all types of vehicles, including those that deliver goods to our homes and businesses each day. The Waymo Driver can power a range of use cases from ride-hailing to trucking and logistics, to delivery, to public transportation and even personal cars (down the road!).
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Throughout my education, I interned at software companies of varying sizes -- from large, and well-established to small startups; then in 2017, I joined Waymo as part of its first intern class. In many ways, Waymo was the best of both worlds. I found the same energy, enthusiasm, and drive of a start-up, coupled with the stability and resources of a well-established company.
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