An in-depth look at Castle, Waymo's fake city for testing self-driving cars

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Rush-hour traffic looks pretty light to me.

“Not surprisingly, the hardest thing to simulate is the behavior of the other people.”

Yes, good luck with that. Sincerely. There are so many other aspects to self-driving vehicles beyond the basics of navigating a simple traffic circle during rush hour.

Great article. Some engineers have all the fun!

Will they be setting up a Northeast Driving simulation? Needs simulations with assholes in expensive cars who will figure out they can just drive into the lane of an autonomous car and it’ll dodge them.

Also needs to handle
· Potholes that will ruin the cars alignment instantly
· NJ jughandles
· NYC cyclists (“What red light?”)
· MA roundabouts
· Potholes
· Snow storms that will continuously obscure all the sensors (this is not an excuse to call out of work)
· Neverending road work
· Idiots that left summer compound tires on despite it being below freezing
· Did I mention potholes?

As a side note:
I feel autonomous cars might work best as a cross between a leased car and Uber rather than privately owned. Individuals have become terrible at maintaining their cars. Humans are pretty adept at compensating for mechanical faults like the car pulling to the right because the alignment is off. I’m concerned about how the self driving computers will adapt to this.

My model works like this: Instead of buying or leasing cars people subscribe to a manufacturer. All the cars are regularly inspected and maintained by the fleet operator. Through their app subsclibers can request a car on demand like with Uber, or schedule a car in advanced. There can also be an incentivised option for carpooling to reduce traffic at heavy usage times. Also the subscription model allows people to get the type of car they need when they need it. Small cars for traveling solo, vans if you’re got a lot of people, trucks for the one time a year you’re actually buying that big item.


The biggest market - old people. I don’t mean that ironically or anything, my parents are getting to the age where driving is becoming questionable if you will. My mom can drive if she has to and my dad’s vision isn’t stellar…but they really only need to get to the doctor occasionally and run errands. A self drive car would be fantastic.


Absolutely, we had to take my grandmother’s car away after she wrecked several is as many years. She would have appreciated having access to a car still even if she couldn’t drive herself.

The elderly often drive at off-peak times and less frequently so they could get lower montly rates under my subscription model.

Sure, but they are self driving.

So anything that is getting close to impairing the ability to self drive should have them self drive to the shop after they drop their human off at work…

The real trick is estimating the cost so it gets rolled into the purchase price.

Castle sounds like quite the place.

They have found the secret to solving almost all urban problems by addressing the root problem: excess homo sapiens.

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For Northwest, all that (the names have been changed to protect the guilty) plus add:

  • Remove half the street signs
  • Turn the other half 90 degrees
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