Waymo Targets Its Self-Driving Cars to Handle Snowy Roads


Photo by: Skitterphoto via Pixabay


Autonomous car development company Waymo is targeting its technology and vehicles to handle snowy roads.

Waymo, formerly the Google self-driving car project, will begin testing their autonomous vehicles in Michigan. Although it has previously conducted cold weather testing in 2012, Waymo said that the new testing in Michigan will be tougher because of the possible challenges to be encountered when navigating in icy roads and with the presence of commuters.

Waymo’s chief executive John Krafcik says “For human drivers, the mix of winter conditions can affect how well you can see, and the way your vehicles handles the road. The same is true for self-driving cars.”

Krafcik continued that the type of test they will conduct will provide them with the opportunity to assess the manner Waymo’s sensors perform in cold and wet conditions because of snow.

Proving to stand a new way forward in mobility, Waymo also opened a development center in Novi, Michigan in May 2016 to integrate their self-driving technology into the minivans. Waymo worked together with automotive industry company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to achieve this goal.

Vehicle manufacturer and distributor General Motors Co., through its chief executive Mary Barra, said that they are working hard on their self-driving cars and they are set to deploy cars without the backup drivers.

Waymo has already mapped areas in Metro Detroit and they want to continue assessing how the vehicle’s sensors will perform in cold, wet conditions. Also, they want to overcome the challenge their car mapping software is facing when exposed to winter weather.