Waymo Shares Tech Info in Safety Report

October 13, 2017 at 4:36 AM

Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo self-driving car unit has published a 43-page Safety Report on its website to help consumers better understand the company’s technologies and share what it has learned since starting the program eight years ago.

In a blog post, Waymo notes the benefits of autonomous vehicles can be realized only if the technology is trusted by users, other drivers and the general public. To this end, the report is intended to be a public resource, detailing the company’s processes, techniques and technologies.

The report is divided into three main sections: How Waymo’s Self-Driving Vehicles Work, Testing and Validation Methods, and Interacting Safely with the Public. In the report’s appendix, Waymo lists 47 “behavioral competencies” and driving situations that autonomous vehicles must handle to be successful.

The U.S. National Highway Safety Traffic Administration applauded the company for its report, which addresses the 12 safety design elements laid out in the agency's guidelines for self-driving cars. NHTSA has asked companies to voluntarily submit technology safety assessments similar to the Waymo report.

Earlier this week Waymo launched a consumer education campaign about autonomous vehicles. The company developed the program in conjunction with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Safety Council, the Foundation for Blind Children, the East Valley Partnership and the Foundation for Senior Living.