Google-bred Waymo aims to shift robotic cars into next gear

Posted at 5:43 AM, Oct 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-31 05:43:05-04

Google's self-driving car spin-off is accelerating efforts to convince the public that its technology is almost ready to safely transport people without any human assistance at all.

Waymo, hatched from a Google project started eight years ago, showed off its progress Monday during a rare peek at a closely guarded testing facility located 120 miles southeast of San Francisco. That's where its robots complete their equivalent of  driver's education.

The tour included giving more than three dozen reporters rides in Chrysler Pacifica minivans traveling through pseudo neighborhoods and expressways that Waymo has built on a former Air Force located in the Californian Central Valley city of Atwater.

The minivans smoothly steered the roads without anyone sitting in the driver's seat.