Waymo’s 5th generation Driver, powering the Jaguar I-PACE
Self-driving cars have the potential to save lives and increase mobility for millions of people. The challenge facing Waymo’s design team is making people feel comfortable in a car with no driver. Whether it’s a Waymo One rider experiencing our self-driving service for the first time or the hundredth, or just someone who sees our cars drive by them on the street, we want everyone to not only trust our technology but enjoy the ride.
Waymo’s new fleet of Jaguar I-PACE vehicles are powered by the company’s latest 5th generation Driver, its most powerful and capable self-driving technology to date, and designed with the riders’ comfort and trust in mind. The fifth-generation Waymo Driver is high-tech and requires a complex, tech-driven design approach, but we can’t forget that it is made for and used by people. Our designers always take a human-centered approach and consider how our design will make people feel from the moment the car pulls up to the second they exit the vehicle and continue on their way.
One example of our human-centered approach is the vehicle identification we’ve incorporated into our fifth-generation Driver. We’ve added moving LEDs to our dome, so that it can also act as a mechanism for riders to identify the vehicle day and night and recognize which vehicle is theirs when there may be more than one Waymo car waiting.
Another way we’ve made our high-tech product human-centered in our latest system is how we’ve packaged our compute, the brain of our self-driving vehicles. Our engineering team successfully reduced the volume of our (even more!) powerful compute under the trunk, so that passengers will be able to use the trunk space, which wasn’t available in our previous platform. Riders will be able to use it to transport groceries, luggage, folding wheelchairs, golf clubs, and everything in between.
The new Jaguar I-PACE also incorporates features to engage riders along the way, including in-car passenger screens, to ensure that they’re aware of their surroundings and comfortable with the operations of the vehicle. Passenger screens offer riders the freedom to personalize their experience, allowing them to select music and make space their own for the duration of the ride.
One of the unique challenges our design team faces is packaging advanced technologies into a design that is comfortable and efficient. The I-PACE features brand new technologies, including new cameras, radar and lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) which uses a family of lasers to detect pedestrians and other nearby objects. Waymo is the only company to design the full-suite of custom hardware in-house, allowing us to apply them to the vehicle platform with the distinct look and feel of the Waymo Driver.
Waymo is a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going. Since its start as the Google Self-Driving Car Project in 2009, Waymo has been focused on improving the world’s access to mobility while saving thousands of lives now lost to traffic crashes. To date, Waymo has driven over 20 million miles autonomously on public roads across 25 U.S. cities and conducted over 10 billion miles of simulation testing.