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Waymo is Mapping L.A. So Robot Cars Can Take Over



Waymo is mapping L.A. in hopes of someday introducing driverless taxis

LOS ANGELES (L.A. Times) A Waymo van mapping LA streets. (Waymo) Waymo this week set three Chrysler Pacifica minivans crawling Los Angeles streets to make maps — but not the kind made for humans.

Google’s autonomous vehicle offshoot deployed the vans not to chart the layout of the city’s streets and avenues, but instead to craft 3-D maps of the infrastructure around which cars travel — curbs, fire hydrants, potholes, fences and crosswalks.

The goal is to turn the physical environment into a virtual reality that robot cars can understand.

Self-driving vehicles are equipped with sensors that help them quickly identify traffic and pedestrians, but these maps can help provide a fuller picture to inform those split-second decisions.“We’re not looking for things like the name of a road,” like a human would, said Waymo spokeswoman Alexis […]

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