The millions of miles were driven in 25 cities across the U.S., including in "sunny California, dusty Arizona, and snowy Michigan, and from the high-speed roads around Phoenix to the dense urban streets of San Francisco." When it comes to driving, says the company, "experience is the best teacher," and experience is even more valuable when it's varied and challenging.
According to the company, such progress was only made possible through its deep investment in simulation, which will soon see seven billion virtual miles driven exceeded. Simulation enables the recreation of any on-road encounter, as well as the testing of new skills, refinement of existing ones, and practicing of extremely rare encounters.
"Thanks to nearly 10 years of experience," says Waymo CEO John Krafcik, "and keeping safety at the core of everything we do, we've been able to put the world's first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road."
"Safety is baked into how we drive today: we stay out of other driver's blind spots, give wide berth to pedestrians, and come to a full stop at four-way stops. In Phoenix, Arizona over 400 early riders use our app and ride in our cars, allowing them to get around town without the stress of driving and with the peace of mind that they'll arrive safely."
Looking ahead, says the company, the next 10 million miles will be focused on taking its technology and turning it into a service that "people will use and love." This will include adding more capability - such as the ability to handle more complex weather conditions that are difficult for even human drivers - and more "comfort and convenience," by striking a balance between driving cautiousness/assertiveness and improving time efficiency with routes, pick-ups, and drop-offs.