Winter is coming - new challenges for driverless cars await
As we've covered previously covered, Waymo is currently piloting driverless vehicles in Phoenix Arizona. Undoubtedly Arizona was selected for many reasons, but one reason was also likely due to weather. Many components which make driverless vehicles work function far more reliably when weather conditions are calm.
If you've ever driven in the snow, it is an entirely different challenge. Roads are slick, visibility is limited, plows are out, traffic is slower. All these factors make creating a safe driverless vehicle that can handle the snow is significantly more difficult than can handle the far more predictable Phoenix AZ weather. For this reason, Waymo plans to test their vehicles in the Detroit area this winter. This will not be the first time vehicles are tested in inclement weather but this will help ensure Waymo is ready for a wider launch as early as next year. But that will all depend on how testing goes in Michigan this winter.