Waymo is currently testing its self-driving hardware and software on Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid-based prototypes. In order for a self-driving vehicle to operate as intended, a series of radar and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors are needed to relay information about the vehicle’s surroundings to a computer system, but sometimes these systems can become dirty, which effects the ability to accurately detect objects, people or other hazards.
Of course, Waymo has a solution for when their radar and Lidar systems become dirty. Cleaning them is similar to cleaning your windshield of dirt and bird poop – a nozzle sprays soap and water onto the outside panel before a set of wipers scrape the debris off. In the case of the circular Lidar module on the top of the roof, this is particularly interesting to watch:
Waymo is currently offering rides to the public in its self-driving Pacifica Hybrid prototypes in Phoenix. The Google-owned company also recently placed an order for an additional 500 Pacifica Hybrids for testing purposes, bringing its fleet size to a sizable 600 vans.In other developments, the company also partnered with Lyft this week to develop and implement self-driving technology – however it’s not yet clear just what the partnership may entail.