Waymo’s next-gen self-driving tech can see what’s happening 500 meters ahead

Waymo has pulled the wraps off the latest version of Driver, the hardware/software combo that enables its autonomous vehicles to safely navigate the streets.

The unveiling comes in the same week that the Alphabet-owned company announced it had secured a whopping $2.25 billion in its first-ever round of external funding.

Since starting life as a Google project in 2009 before emerging as an independent entity within Alphabet in 2016, Waymo has been diligently honing the technology that this week landed in its fifth iteration. A big chunk of it is comprised of lidar that identifies objects around the vehicles, radar that works out the distance of those objects from the vehicle, and cameras that enable the vehicle to work out what it’s looking at.