FAQ
What is Waymo?
Waymo stands for a new way forward in mobility. We are a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around.

We’re determined to improve transportation for people around the world, building on software and sensor technology developed in Google’s labs since 2009. In October 2015, we achieved the world’s first fully self-driving trip on public roads, in a car without a steering wheel or pedals. We refine Waymo technology through one billion miles of simulation testing each year, and our cars have self-driven over two million miles on public roads across four U.S. cities.

Why is Waymo working on fully self-driving cars?
Annually, over 1.2 million people die on our roadways. In the US alone, traffic collisions kill over 35,000 people a year—the equivalent of a 737 airplane falling out of the sky every single working day of the year—and that number is rising. In the U.S., 94% of crashes involve human error or choice, and this is one place where we believe we really can bring technology to bear.

Our goal is to transform mobility by making it easy and safe for people and things to move around. We’re committed to developing fully self-driving cars because we believe that this is safer and better for the millions of people who cannot drive.

What’s the difference between fully self-driving or autonomous cars, semi-autonomous cars, and driver assistance technology?
With fully self-driving technology, the car is designed to do all the work of driving and the person in the vehicle is never expected to take control of the vehicle at any time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls this a fully automated vehicle. This is the type of technology we are working on.

Driver assistance could include technology like adaptive cruise control or automated parking. With some driver assistance systems, there may be moments when the car is capable of self-driving, but it could also back out of this mode in certain situations and the driver is expected to take over as needed. This type of technology falls between function-specific automation and limited self-driving automation by NHTSA’s classification.

What types of vehicles do you have on the road?
Our testing fleet includes modified Lexus SUVs and custom-built prototype vehicles. We also plan to add modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans to our fleet. Our cars are currently out on the streets of Mountain View, CA; Austin, TX; Kirkland, WA; and Metro Phoenix, AZ with test drivers on board. We’ve self-driven over 2 million miles. If you consider the hours we’ve spent on the road, our cars now have the equivalent of over 300 years of human driving experience.
Why do you need to test the vehicles on public roads?
Our cars use their sensors and software to detect other roadway users, such as motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as objects like vehicles and road work, from up to two football fields away in all directions. We’ve taught our cars to drive safely and defensively. For example, they pause 1.5 seconds after the light turns green at an intersection because many crashes happen during this time. Learn more about how the technology works.
I would like to provide feedback on how the cars drive on the road. How can I get in touch?
Your opinion is important to us. Please contact us and tell us about your experience.
What’s next for the project?
In October 2015, we completed the world’s first fully self-driving ride on public roads. This ride took place in Austin, TX, in a typical neighborhood, in real traffic, and without a test driver on board. With our eight years of experience and millions of miles of testing, we want to be able to offer more people in more places the opportunity to experience this technology. Our next step will be to let people trial fully self-driving cars to do everyday things like run errands or commute to work.
I’d like to join the team. Where can I find a list of open roles?
You can learn more about available roles here.
How can I get a demo ride or become a volunteer tester?
All of our focus is currently on developing our technology and we are unable to accommodate requests for demonstration rides or volunteer testers at the moment.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to see our self-driving car up close, please visit the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA to view their exhibit, “Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles.” You’ll be able to learn more about self-driving technology and even sit inside one of our prototype vehicles.

Can you come to my school, event, company or conference?
We are unable to accommodate most appearance requests due to our busy development and testing schedules. For special requests, please use our contact form. Please note we may not be able to respond to all inquiries.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to see our self-driving car up close, please visit the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA to view their exhibit, “Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles.” You’ll be able to learn more about self-driving technology and even sit inside one of our prototype vehicles.

Can you help me with my school or research project?
Please browse this website and visit our YouTube channel for public information on our project. We are unable to provide additional information at the moment.
Can you expand testing to my city or country?
Our team is currently only testing our technology in Mountain View, CA, Austin, TX, Kirkland, WA, and Metro Phoenix, AZ. We look forward to expanding testing to other cities in future.