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April 22, 2020

In the driver's seat: footage from our 2009-2010 1,000 autonomous mile challenge

  • , technology

In early 2009, when Waymo was first founded as the “Google Self-Driving Car Project,” Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page challenged our first engineers to drive autonomously without human intervention or disengagements along ten challenging 100-mile routes in our home state of California. By December 2009, the team had completed their first route, and nine months later in mid 2010, we had wrapped up the last.

Now, more than ten years and billions of real-world and simulation miles later, we’re releasing footage from our archive to share the remarkable progress made by the first generation Waymo Driver. One lesson from these early experiences is clear — demonstration videos are fun to create, and perhaps even more fun to watch, but the real challenge in creating the world’s most experienced driver™ is scaling robustly to hundreds, thousands, and millions of safely delivered rides.

Check out these historic videos of our earliest autonomous miles across the Golden State.