Waymo starts giving rides without a human back up driver

Google’s autonomous driving division has released a promotional video showing its Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans picking up and taking riders around the Phoenix suburbs, but this time without a human backup driver at the wheel. The Phoenix metro area has been Waymo’s test bed for quite some time. Now Waymo is looking to gradually roll out the self-driving service to the general public and is looking to expand to other cities as well.

Waymo’s promotional video shows riders reactions to the strangeness of the driver-less experience. Many riders take it in stride, while some riders yawn or even appears to take a nap as the car is driving itself. It is a bit creepy without the driver as you may never know if one day the car is hacked and takes you to some unknown place. Also, what happens in an auto accident involving an autonomous car? Who will be held responsible? There are still many questions yet to be answered and many Americans remain wary of a self-driving car.

Waymo still plans to forge ahead with autonomous technology and appears to have a solid lead in the market over its competition. Some estimate that Google’s Waymo could be years ahead of other startups and even established automakers, but its hard to say who has the head start as many companies maybe secretly testing their own autonomous vehicles in closed areas and not on public roads.

Here is the promotional video Waymo released:

Image and Video credits: Waymo

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