Step 2: Understand the city
Every city is different. Driving through the sunny, multi-lane roads of Las Vegas is nothing like navigating the rain and hills of Seattle.
On top of different weather conditions and landscapes, a city also has its own road rules, layouts, and even driver behavior. We want to make sure our robotaxis can see, understand, and react to whatever a city may throw at them.
This is where our test vehicles come in. They’re fully equipped with our latest software, but have a safety driver on hand to take over if needed. We deploy them through the city streets, creating detailed maps and investigating the routes we plan to operate in.
Our test vehicle collects all this new data for us to feed into our future software releases. We look at where we can improve and what it will take to deploy safely and effectively in a new city.
Once we’ve got the lay of the land, we make plans to ensure we have the staff, equipment, and facilities we’ll need when launch time comes.