You may read about the 5th-generation Waymo Driver but until you see one on the road, it is hard to appreciate the extent of its sensing capabilities. Sensors are visible everywhere on the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace SUV. In fact, each visible mounting location has more than one sensor. To consistently obtain the amount of information Waymo engineers needed, they concluded that a single type of sensor could not provide the required level of detail in all operating conditions.
The familiar roof-mounted lidar sensor provides a 3D picture of the vehicle’s surroundings, measuring the size and distance of objects around the vehicle, both up close or over 300 meters (984 feet) away, and providing higher resolution across a 360-degree field of view. Lidar data helps to identify objects when driving into the sun on the brightest days or on dark, moonless nights. At each corner of the vehicle, new perimeter lidar sensors provide a wide field of view to detect nearby objects.
Vision system cameras with high-dynamic range and thermal stability over the automotive temperature range are designed to capture more detail and provide sharper images in tough driving environments. With new long-range cameras and 360-degree vision, the system can identify important details including pedestrians and stop signs greater than 500 meters (1,640 feet) away. In total, the Waymo Driver has 29 cameras integrated around the body of the vehicle
Finally, six radar sensors instantaneously detect and measure an object’s velocity to help lidar sensors and cameras accurately interpret the landscape even in rain, fog and snow.