When it comes to autonomous driving, the argument of bad weather conditions is often cited as a major obstacle to the development of this technology. In California or Arizona, where “it is always sunny,” it would be “easier to drive than in Germany with rain and snow. And the sensors, such as lidars and cameras would be blinded by raindrops and snowflakes, simply paralyzing them in rain or snowfall.
Well, these people have probably never been to San Francisco in winter, where there are always heavy downpours, as there have been for weeks now. And the engineers there don’t go on and on about why something can’t work, but do what they’ve learned to do: break down the challenges into individual components, develop algorithms for the interference of the drops and flakes, test them, improve them, attach fixtures to the sensors, like windshield wipers or heat wires, and you’re getting closer to solving the problem.
But even those don’t stop the two fleets of Waymo and Cruise robot taxis active in San Francisco. As this following video shows, where a driverless Waymo drives through rainy San Francisco without batting an eye, but with its windshield wipers.
Here’s the video of the entire ride in time-lapse at eight times the normal speed:
But, but, but, what if the car comes around the corner, and there is a grandma and a baby walking on the street, the car can’t brake anymore, who should it kill? But with pleasure, German engineer, this is a completely irrelevant problem, which only shows that you have zero idea about it.
This article was also published in German.