Waymo executives plugged their hardware, computer systems and safety standards at a Wednesday press event -- but the self-driving car company is still mute on when driverless testing will actually launch in the Bay Area.
Ever since last October, Waymo officials have had permission to begin a new stage of autonomous testing, with authorization to send out about 60 driverless vehicles onto the streets of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and Los Altos.
Up to this point, Waymo vehicles have always had a driver behind the wheel ready to take control if needed, but this new phase would allow the vehicles to navigate the city with no one on board. News of the coming "ghost cars" have excited some, and alarmed others.
Waymo has held off on launching this new test phase. The company has given no indication of when it would be ready to launch.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, May 8, Waymo Chief Technology Officer Dmitri Dolgov remained tight-lipped about the company's plans. He said Waymo was getting ample data from its testing in the greater Phoenix area of Arizona. He declined to give any time frame for when driverless vehicles could make a debut in the Mountain View area.
"I don't want to throw out any concrete date, our deployment will be gated by the safety," he said.