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  • Hi everyone, my name is YooJung Ahn.

  • I'm the Head of Design at Waymo.

  • I wish we could be together in person,

  • but I'm super excited to be here virtually

  • to share more on how we design our Waymo Driver.

  • So thank you so much for tuning in.

  • We have a lot of ground to cover today,

  • but first I'd like to take a few moments

  • to introduce you to Waymo, who we are,

  • what we are doing, and why we are doing it.

  • We are a self-driving technology company

  • with a mission to make it safe and easy

  • for people and things to get where they're going.

  • Fully self-driving vehicles hold the promise

  • to improve road safety and offer new mobility options

  • to millions of people.

  • Driving today is not exactly as safe as it could be,

  • which is why safety is at the core of Waymo's mission.

  • Globally there are close to 1.35 million deaths

  • every year due to vehicle crashes.

  • With more than half of those people being pedestrians,

  • motorcyclists, and cyclists.

  • And it goes beyond fatalities.

  • There are over 50 million injuries worldwide

  • caused by vehicle crashes every year.

  • There's a clear theme to the vast majority

  • of these incidents: human error and inattention.

  • In fact, 94% of crashes in the U.S.

  • involve human choice or error, whether it's speeding,

  • distraction from our phones, lack of sleep,

  • or drunk driving, there are a lot of factors

  • that lead to these statistics.

  • Over the last 10 years, we've put our technology

  • through the world's longest

  • and toughest ongoing driving test

  • to help address these grim statistics

  • we've self-driven more than 20 million miles

  • on public roads,

  • over 10 billion miles in simulation,

  • and across over 25 cities in the U.S.

  • That's hundreds of years of human driving experience

  • that benefits every vehicle in our fleet.

  • Let's take a deeper look at our history.

  • We started back in 2009

  • as the Google self-driving car project.

  • In the early days, we were focused on developing

  • the core capabilities of self-driving

  • and understanding the challenges.

  • In 2011, we started developing all of our own hardware

  • in-house, alongside our software, after realizing

  • nothing off the shelf was as advanced as we needed.

  • In 2013, we made a key decision to pivot

  • from developing a driver-assistant system

  • to exclusively pursuing fully self-driving technology.

  • So we took a clean sheet approach and developed Firefly,

  • a vehicle that could move people around cities

  • with no human driver.

  • Two years later in 2015, we completed the world's first

  • fully autonomous ride on public roads

  • with Firefly in Austin, Texas.

  • In 2016, with that landmark ride under our belts,

  • we transitioned from being part of Google,

  • and became Waymo, an independent company within Alphabet.

  • Since then, we've forged key partnerships with OEMs

  • like Fiat Chrysler and Jaguar Land Rover,

  • welcomed the members of the public

  • into our fully self-driving cars,

  • launched our self-driving trucking program,

  • and most recently, we begun offering

  • fully driverless rides to our riders.

  • Throughout this experience, we've been focused on building

  • the Waymo Driver, which is how we refer

  • to our self-driving technology.

  • There are two pieces to the Waymo Driver:

  • hardware and software.

  • On the hardware side we have a sensor suite

  • that includes lidar, cameras, radar,

  • and a powerful AI compute platform.

  • Combined, these sensors give our vehicles

  • a 360 degree view of the world, over 300 meters away.

  • On the software side, the brain of our self-driving

  • vehicles, we take all of the information

  • our sensors collect to answer four key questions:

  • Where am I?

  • What's around me?

  • What will happen next?

  • and what should I do?

  • Together, our hardware and software work in concert

  • to paint the complete picture of the world around the car

  • and enable us to navigate roads safely.

  • Our Waymo Driver can be deployed across a number

  • of different business applications globally,

  • serving many different industries.

  • Ride hailing is an important application of our Driver,

  • and our main focus.

  • Our technology can also make trucking safer

  • and more efficient, and fill a pressing need

  • for more drivers in many parts of the world.

  • Delivery is another important opportunity,

  • something we are testing now with partners,

  • like AutoNation, to deliver car parts

  • rapidly to their dealerships.

  • Our OEM partners are also interested in sharing

  • the Waymo Driver with their customers

  • through personally owned cars, and we will work with them

  • to bring that application to life.

  • These applications fall into two categories:

  • moving people, which we will do through Waymo One,

  • and moving things, which we will do through Waymo Via,

  • our new sub-brand focused on commercial goods delivery.

  • Now that you have a sense of Waymo

  • and the Driver we're building, I'd like to dive into

  • what we are here to talk about: design,

  • and how we think about it at Waymo.

  • Our process is guided by our design principles and language.

  • Developing design that is consistent, yet flexible,

  • is important for the tech industry,

  • because things change so fast,

  • from the technology, to the products.

  • At Waymo we follow four core design principles

  • for all of our products and have a design language

  • which evolves over time based on our strategy.

  • Our design principles are simple, honest,

  • approachable, and delightful.

  • Simplicity is embedded into our core at Waymo.

  • We make it simple and easy for anyone to get

  • from A to B, so our design should be easy to understand

  • and free of unnecessary elements.

  • Next is honest.

  • We put the utmost consideration and thought

  • into every part of our technology and service.

  • And all of our designs should be honest and thoughtful.

  • Then approachable. It's important that all of our designs

  • be easily accessible, sincere and friendly

  • to attract curious new customers

  • and create a sense of community.

  • And finally, delightful.

  • Our design should reflect our optimistic goals

  • and ambitions for the future

  • by inspiring wonder, delight, and intrigue.

  • Design language goes hand in hand with brand identity

  • and defines characteristics, colors,

  • and material applications of Waymo's products.

  • Whether they be a physical product like a vehicle,

  • or digital products,

  • such as, the passenger screens in our vehicles.

  • Design language really comes down to guiding

  • how the product looks and how it makes people feel.

  • Good design language requires strategic embodiment

  • of brand values and design principles,

  • and can't be established in a day.

  • Our current design language

  • is made up of four different pillars:

  • Pure, Flow, Balance, and Contrast.

  • Keeping the design pure and simple is important

  • for the Waymo Driver, especially since we have several

  • different vehicle platforms from different OEMs.

  • Because each of these OEMs has its own design language

  • which is beyond our control,

  • we have to keep our design as pure as possible

  • to be harmonious without aesthetic conflict.

  • Flow design has both functional and visual benefits

  • for the Waymo Driver.

  • It allows us to improve aerodynamics,

  • and reduce the visual mass.

  • Balance is important for the Waymo Driver's field of view

  • and mass distribution, but also is directly related

  • to how users perceive the safety and comfort

  • of our vehicle.

  • Since stable and balanced design gives people

  • a sense of safety.

  • Lastly, contrast helps to simplify

  • various different elements of the Waymo Driver

  • and has great functional benefits.

  • For example, we use both white and black coloring

  • across our sensor suite,

  • and both have different functional advantages.

  • To blend Waymo's design language with all other requirements

  • of the technology and platform, we constantly develop

  • concepts and verify on the vehicle.

  • While this is our current state,

  • our design language evolves over time...

  • ...Which is exactly what I want to cover next.

  • Let's take a quick look at how our design has changed

  • over the last 10 years across three distinct phases,

  • five generations of the Waymo Driver,

  • and over 6 vehicle platforms.

  • (bright uplifting music)

  • Since our inception we've moved through

  • three main stages of design: Retrofitting,

  • building from the ground up, and applying our Driver

  • across multiple OEM platforms.

  • When we first started in 2009, design was very limited.

  • Our exterior sensors were mostly off the shelf

  • and exposed on the car.

  • The only design items were interior displays and controls.

  • This was more of a prototype stage

  • where we were solely focused

  • on achieving basic functionality.

  • Following our retrofit stage, we then designed our own

  • self-driving car from scratch, Firefly.

  • Building a self-driving car from the ground up

  • was a huge learning for us from both a technical

  • and customer standpoint.

  • After this valuable experience,

  • we realized that in order to scale our fleet faster,

  • we should focus on the technology and building our driver

  • instead of building a car.

  • To do that, we partnered with OEM companies,

  • like Fiat Chrysler and Jaguar,

  • to provide us with custom vehicles

  • that have enabled us to launch our ride hailing service

  • and commercial goods delivery.

  • This has been a huge design challenge,

  • since we've had to ensure Waymo's design and branding

  • is represented across the multiple different OEM platforms,

  • so that users can easily identify the Waymo Driver.

  • Also, how we approach design is fundamentally different.

  • Whereas OEMs are selling a car, we are selling a service.

  • Now, what I'm most excited for today!

  • Let's take a closer look

  • at our fifth-generation Waymo Driver

  • and its design details.

  • With this latest generation, we were motivated

  • to celebrate the Waymo Driver as a unique design element

  • separate from the vehicle platform,

  • which maintains its own design identity.

  • Here's what that looks like on our new vehicle platform,

  • The Jaguar I-PACE.

  • (upbeat electronic music)

  • Compared to previous generations,

  • our sensors and compute are even more powerful than before.

  • Every part is designed for scale, and it comes with

  • a distinctive Waymo look.

  • What are we are building is not a concept car,

  • we are designing our Driver for the real world,

  • to be used by our thousands of Waymo One riders

  • as well our B2B partners.

  • Here you can see the breakdown of our custom-built hardware

  • that makes up the fifth- generation Waymo Driver.

  • Lidar, cameras, and radar, as well as compute.

  • Each of them is more powerful than the previous generation

  • and equipped with enhanced capabilities.

  • First, let's look at our new family of lidar,

  • which has an even higher resolution

  • across a wider range.

  • As one of the Waymo Driver's most powerful sensors,

  • our lidar paints a picture

  • of its surroundings in great detail.

  • It sees the world in 3D and can see in the dark of night

  • without any illumination.

  • Our 360 Lidar, which is located in our dome,

  • can see up to 300 meters away,

  • and provides a bird's eye view of the cars,

  • cyclists, and pedestrians surrounding the vehicle.

  • At the same time, our latest perimeter lidars

  • placed at four points around the vehicle

  • offer unparalleled coverage with a wide field of view