Riding in a self-driving car is Waymo relaxing than you might expect

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Despite what Elon Musk would have you believe, most Americans are still a long way off from experiencing a ride in a truly driverless vehicle. That is unless, of course, you live near Phoenix, where Waymo has been offering paid rides to the public in its Level 4 autonomous vans for a while now.

If, like me, you find the idea of putting your life in the hands of the people in Silicon Valley makes you cataclysmically nervous, look away, because YouTuber JJRicks Studios not only did just that, but filmed the entire hour-plus-long ride. The whole thing is — as we have come to expect from Waymo, based on the disengagement data it publishes every year — pretty uneventful, except for a close call with a truck that refused to slow.

Now, suppose you need a little refresher on self-driving cars. In that case, Level 4 autonomy means that a vehicle can complete an entire journey without driver intervention, even operating without a driver at all, but the vehicle has some constraints. For example, a Level 4 vehicle may be confined to a specific geographical area (aka geofenced) or prohibited from operating beyond a certain speed.

So, would you jump in one of Waymo’s vehicles and trust it to get to where you need to go, or would you constantly have flashbacks to the episode of Silicon Valley where Jared gets stuck on a cargo ship going to a repurposed oil rig?


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A ride on public streets in Waymo One



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Cnet