What you need to know
- Fully driverless taxis from Waymo are now generating in Phoenix, Arizona.
- Only a special group of 400 participants offers access to these, for now.
- These driverless minivans could be coming to various other cities in the near future, such as Los Angeles.
Waymo has been publicly screening its self-driving cars since the firm spun off from the experimental side of Alphabet, Google’s parent firm. Late last year, Waymo launched the first driverless ride-hailing service within Phoenix, Arizona, but played this safe by keeping an individual driver behind the wheel at all times. While this human being wasn’t actively driving, they were within the wings in case something happened.
Now the robots are completely taking over, and Waymo has been effectively testing long enough to provide passengers with a brand new option: a fully driverless minivan. At the very top group of 400 participants in an unique Waymo program have been sent a message, found on Reddit and confirmed as standard to The Verge by a spokesperson, saying a new driverless option will be accessible in the Waymo app.
For those that have used ride-hailing services such as Uber or Lyft before, Waymo’s process is familiar and just as effortless. The difference here is that passengers may have the entire Waymo minivan all in order to themselves for the duration of their trip with no human being sitting in the front chair. But don’t worry, Waymo brokers will be able to remotely control the car in the event of emergency, and a shiny button exists to immediately connect you to an experienced agent.
Sitting in one of those driverless minivans is actually really cool, inspite of the feelings a minivan might invoke in some people’s minds. On the back again of the front headrests, you’ll find a few nifty monitors showing you exactly how the vehicle is navigating, down to the position of the curve that’s being used. It’s a surreal experience the company is usually hoping to take elsewhere as it exams the waters in Los Angeles plus, ultimately, hopes to turn it in to a profitable venture for parent company Abece.