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Vice goes behind the wheel of Waymo’s newest Chrysler Pacifica self-driving minivan [Video]


Google’s self-driving car efforts were spun-out into an Alphabet company called Waymo back in December. That was followed by the company’s latest self-driving car fleet, Chrysler Pacifica minivans with in-house sensor suits, beginning testing last month.

Now, Vice News has gotten the opportunity to take the latest Waymo self-driving test vehicle for a ride around Mountain View

The clip originally aired two weeks ago on HBO, but hit Vice’s website this week. In the clip, Vice News takes the Chrysler Minivan test car out for drives both on closed tracks and on the real roads and highways in Mountain View. The video shows the car handle a variety of obstacles, including pedestrians, light changes, and intricate cone-surrounded tracks.

Additionally, the video highlights more of the technology behind the self-driving capabilities, featuring detailed looks at how the sensor on the car itself perceive real-world situations.

“Well, [the car is] not exactly grandma-level. It’s assertive, but it’s very safe. It remembers all the steps, every time,” said Nathaniel Fairfield, a roboticist from Carnegie Mellon University and the principal engineer for Waymo.

It’s a really interesting video if you have any sort of interest in Waymo and it highlights the progress that Google has made with its self-driving efforts. As we reported earlier this month, Waymo’s self-driving cars needed far fewer safety related disengages in 2016, with an average of .20 disegenages per 1000 miles.

The Vice News clip can be seen below. Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller


Chance currently writes for both 9to5Google and 9to5Mac, in addition to 9to5Toys.