In Chandler, Arizona Waymo’s self-driving vans have given almost thousands of rides since the robotaxi service was launched by the company a year ago, says Waymo.
This month’s Waymo’s services were tested by speaking to Waymo’s customers itself who have used their services earlier. According to them, they’re mostly satisfied and they prefer it to Uber, Lyft or far ownership. There is demand for robotaxis and also there are significant barriers to self-driving cars which have been becoming an important thing in American’s lives.
Via Waymo app, a rider can request a ride and he will be directed to walk towards the pick-up point where the robotaxi can safely stop to pick the passenger up. A Waymo Chrysler Pacifica minivan pulls up, with the rider’s initials displayed on the dashboard to distinguish it from another Waymo van.
“Good afternoon,” a recording greets riders as they enter. “This car is all yours with no one up front.”
A steering wheel is still present in the vans, which turns right and left as the vehicle navigates. The front seats are separated from the back seats by a piece of plastic, which is where riders are supposed to stay. Riders press a button to begin their journey.
Trips are typically longer and less direct than those provided by Uber or Lyft. The taxis are still not using shared turn lanes, according to the company. As a result, they are sometimes forced to take roundabout routes, such as three right turns instead of one left.
As per Waymo, their vehicles have ridden on public roads for almost more than 20 million autonomous miles, but sometimes when it’s raining and the puddles that are on the road after rains can confuse the robotaxis so much that they have to revert to an older and less attractive version of its robotaxis, which has a human test driver manually driving it.