from the you-don't-need-a-weatherman-to-know-which-way-the-wind-blows dept.
The Alphabet company announced that the latest version of the sensor array on its autonomous vehicles — using a combination of cameras, radar, and lidar — is able to measure weather conditions the car may face, specifically the intensity of rain drops (or lack thereof), as well as fog. It would turn the vehicles into, as the company puts it, "mobile weather stations."
This doesn't mean you'll be seeing a Waymo car giving out the weather on your local TV station anytime soon, but it will help the robotaxis make real-time decisions in adapting to the weather conditions on the ground. It's being tested to begin with in Phoenix and San Francisco, two very different climates.
But since the sensors ostensibly turn the vehicles into amateur meteorologists, Waymo is also able to use the data to create real-time weather maps on conditions like the progression of coastal fogs, as well as light drizzles that a radar might miss.