Editor’s Note: In this “Why I Ride with Waymo” post, Amy and Paul fill us in on how Waymo fits into their everyday lives, from helping them get to work commitments to ensuring they always have a safe ride home from a night out.
Tell us a bit about yourselves and how you use Waymo One.
Hi there! Paul and Amy here, from Tempe, Arizona. We’ve used Waymo One for everything from grocery shopping, trips to Costco and IKEA, to going to the movies, the hair stylist, or out to dinner. Paul has even used Waymo One to show homes as a Realtor®, and Amy’s taken it to a restaurant to perform last-minute designated driver duties!
What’s one of your favorite things about the service? Why?
Hands down, our favorite aspect is safety. Waymo’s intelligent driving (from its many million miles driven plus lidar technology) far surpasses what either of us are capable of behind the wheel. For that reason, we feel that being inside a Waymo vehicle is the safest place one can be on the road.
Having experienced serious motor vehicle collisions ourselves, we are keenly aware of how dangerous driving is. It seems that traffic and driving behavior in the Phoenix area (and Tempe, in particular) has worsened significantly over the past several years. Human drivers can often be reckless and are commonly distracted by their phones. We were both victims of such dangerous behaviors, and as a result, gained renewed perspective on Waymo’s potential.
We believe that self-driving cars can literally save lives and prevent life-altering injuries from collisions, all while freeing people to make better use of their commute time and to do whatever they want to do without the distraction of having to operate a vehicle!
Have you brought any friends or family along for a ride? If so, what have they thought?
We have shared the Waymo experience with our neighbors and friends, both locally and those visiting from abroad. No one actually believes that the car is driving itself until they see it firsthand. It’s very cool to be able to introduce people to Waymo.
The Waymo Driver, like human drivers, has a bit of a personality. Have you noticed that?
We often joke about Waymo driving like a grandma: very cautious, always at the speed limit, never cutting someone off or tailgating…did we mention cautious?
What has been the biggest surprise for you about our self-driving technology? And has your opinion evolved from before you started riding with us?
Being inside the vehicle, it’s apparent that the technology is revolutionary and the system’s ability to learn and make noticeable improvements is almost…human. That said, aspects of some rides remind us that the computer is, in fact, not (yet) human and still learning. We have seen steady improvements in the technology since our first ride several years ago, and the wonder of being inside a computer-driven car never ceases to amaze us.
Anything else you want to share about your experience with Waymo One?
We can’t wait for the service area to be expanded so that we can explore more of the city with this amazing service!