Each day we hear more about driverless vehicles being made available to the public soon or some taxi services plans on offering rides with no drivers in the vehicles. Up until now it has been mostly speculation and planning but soon, one company will be making this a reality.
A company called Waymo, which has been testing driverless cars since 2009 and has logged over 3 million miles in city driving with driverless cars is planning to Launch a hailing ride service in Phoenix Arizona soon.
This is not the first time, or the first company to test driverless cars on city streets but there is a difference. While self-driving car companies test their vehicles in public, they routinely have a human in the driver’s seat ready to take over if the technology fails. Waymo is going a step further foregoing the human drivers.
Members of the public are being asked to participate in the trials in Phoenix and will be the first customers to use the ride hailing app. In the beginning, passengers will be accompanied by a Waymo employee in the back seat, but eventually they will travel alone.
The company will be using a fleet of modified Fiat Chrysler Pacifica minivans to run the service in the next few months. Phoenix Arizona was chosen because of it’s dry, predictable weather. Developers are still grappling with vehicle performance in snow and heavy rain.
So far there has been no comment from the U.S National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The organization has commented on the subject in the past however, in September of last year it stated that conventionally designed vehicles that can be operated autonomously faced no specific federal legal barrier.
In what is sure to be just the beginning, it looks like we will be seeing driverless cars caring people in the back seat cruising the streets of Phoenix Arizona soon.