Waymo reaches 10 million real-world miles, 10 billion in simulation

The company believes its simulation is superior in terms of fidelity and scale.

Waymo has quietly announced a few more milestones, reaching 10 million miles of real-world driving and surpassing 10 billion miles in digital simulations.

Speaking at the TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility conference, Waymo CTO Dmitri Dolgov stressed the importance of both mileage benchmarks for developing mature self-driving technology.

"I think what makes it a good simulator, and what makes it powerful is two things," he said. "One [is] fidelity. And by fidelity, I mean, not how good it looks. It's how well it behaves, and how representative it is of what you will encounter in the real world. And then second is scale."

Waymo is generally considered the leader in self-driving technology, though the company is still operating a limited pilot program in a 100-square-mile region of Phoenix suburbs.

Tesla has taken a different approach, rolling out incrementally more powerful semi-autonomous features across its entire fleet of Autopilot-enabled vehicles. The company has argued that its real-world data is necessary to address the edge cases that simply cannot be imaged in a simulated environment.

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