Waymo is the self-driving technology firm that made some demonstration of its driverless vehicle in Arizona two years ago. The high-tech company has returned and confirmed that it’s working on a completely driverless Waymo vehicle.

The company has also emailed its customers, confirming to the people that the completely driverless Waymo cars are now on the way. The latest Waymo story showed a sign that Waymo is growing confident enough in its autonomous technology. The company believes that it can deliver a truly driverless vehicle.

Founded in 2009 and based in Mountain View, California, Waymo is a self-driving technology specialist and the self-driving division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. This high-tech firm originated as a self-driving project of Google before it became a stand-alone subsidiary or self-driving division of Alphabet in December 2016.

800px-Waymo_self-driving_car_front_view Waymo's driverless vehicle Photo: Grendelkhan/Wikimedia Creative Commons

Waymo made its first limited trail of self-driving taxi service in April 2017. The trials were first launched on the public roads of Phoenix, Arizona. In December 2018, Waymo introduced the commercial self-driving car service Waymo One. In the new self-driving service, users in the Metro Phoenix area can use a mobile app to request a pick-up or car service.

About Waymo email and its huge self-driving effort

According to the tech website The Verge, the email was sent to members of the company’s early rider program; the 400-strong drivers from suburban Arizona who signed a nondisclosure agreement with the technology company about testing a self-driving vehicle. In addition to this early rider program, Waymo also launched an invite-only commercial ride-hailing service, called the Waymo One.

On Twitter, a Waymo follower asked the company about its latest plans on the fully driverless vehicles. The company replied and confirmed the ongoing works on a self-driving vehicle. It also shared other details of how the technology works, including the use of remote control support.

Waymo started testing its self-driving minivans in Chandler, Arizona in October 2017.  Since then, the company has allowed some passengers to ride in the driverless vehicle and even invited passengers to take some promotional videos of their trips. The company made those driverless vehicle trips with a trained driver behind the wheel.

The technology firm has always been strict about testing its driverless vehicles for obvious reasons, like the one driverless trip done with The Verge. The folks from the popular tech website took a ride in a fully driverless vehicle nearly two years ago, but that ride was done on a closed course and not on the highway or public roads.

After a series of successful tests, in January 2018, the company announced that it would start its ride-hailing services in Phoenix, Arizona. But, Waymo is not just announcing driverless service here. It also working on its own advanced technology like a suite of self-driving hardware that the company has developed in-house. This piece of advanced technology hardware will enhance the vehicle's vision system as well as improved radar and laser-based LIDAR.

More importantly, in-house technology development will reduce Waymo’s dependence on technology suppliers. It has, reportedly, helped the company in technology integration and implementation. In 2017, the company took a huge step when it unveiled its own new sensors and chips, cameras that improve vision systems and wipers to clear the laser-based LIDAR system.

By 2019, Waymo’s self-driving effort is already in full swing. In April, it announced plans for a vehicle assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan. In the car production, Waymo will use vehicle assembler Magna to turn the Jaguar I-PACE and Chrysler Pacifica into the Waymo Level 4 self-driving vehicles.

The company also confirmed in a blog post that the vehicles it uses are designed for full autonomy. It equipped with sensors that give the car a full 360-degree view. There’s also a laser detection system that detects objects up to 300 meters away. Waymo even detailed the use of laser systems; it said that the short-range lasers detect and focus on objects near the vehicle, while the radar is used to look for vehicles and track incoming objects.

Waymo has been described by many tech experts as one of the most serious companies in the field of self-driving technology. The company believes that it can put more passengers to its fully driverless Chrysler Pacific minivans. When the Waymo launched its commercial ride-hailing service in 2018, some tech experts took that as a great sign that self-driving or autonomous vehicles are further away from mass adoption than previously thought.

Finally, Waymo maintained that it would eventually deploy more driverless vehicles when it fully confident about its autonomous and when it was ready to conquer the road with its self-driving vehicles.