June 25, 2021Blog

Navigating San Francisco in Full Autonomy

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Note: Woven Planet became Woven by Toyota on April 1, 2023. Note: This blog was originally published on June 25, 2021 by Level 5, which is now part of Woven Planet. This post was updated on December 13, 2022.

Nearly a year ago, our autonomous vehicles (AVs) drove their first autonomou miles in San Francisco. We were excited to discover that the stack we built for Palo Alto generalizes well to new environments, tackling dense city traffic, lane changes, U-turns, and merges without any specific tuning. Since then, we have begun employee test rides, expanded San Francisco routes to cover more than 100 miles, and advanced our latest generation vehicle platform from testing to driving daily on these new routes.

In the clip below (sped up 3x), our AV drives a seven-mile stretch of San Francisco in full autonomy mode. Our perception system “sees” 150 meters ahead and plans its trajectory, avoiding jaywalkers, conducting unprotected turns, changing lanes, and more.

Despite driving substantially more complex environments in San Francisco, we were able to significantly improve our key performance metrics and our overall number of disengagements year-over-year.

Over the last year, we demonstrated the advanced capabilities of our autonomy stack and ability to scale our operations and mapping efforts. As our program grows, we look forward to further improving our autonomy performance by fueling our data-driven approach to autonomy with more data.

Join us!

We’re looking for talented engineers to help us on this journey. If you’d like to join us, we’re hiring!