How waymo’s self-driving cars handle fog in sf

Self-driving cars operate mainly in sunny, warm places during the day, to avoid potential weather-related complications. Waymo, whose robotaxis can see 360 degrees around the car and over 3 football fields away, is looking to better combat weather conditions. Any day there is a one third chance of fog, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Waymo weather station

One of Waymo’s mobile weather stations used to collect deeper data on weather conditions. | Credit: Waymo

Waymo is testing its self-driving system in the fog with mobile weather stations. These stations are tasked with collecting data that can be used to teach Waymo’s system how to detect fog. The second involved the three different kinds of sensors, LiDAR, radar and cameras. These sensors use hydrophobic film, pulsed air puffers, wipers and other technique.

Waymo radar fog

Waymo has mapped streets in Arizona, Death Valley, Miami, Michigan, San Francisco, Washington State, and most recently New York City. Waymo cars learn from hours of simulated driving, where Waymo can recreate weather conditions. Cruise was approved to give fully autonomous rides in California in October 2021.

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