Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles 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 to detect objects close to the vehicle.