Self-driving car technology has been a topic of interest and innovation for years now, and it seems that Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, has made great progress in the development of its autonomous cars. Waymo recently received a lot of praise from residents living in the downtown Phoenix area, where they have been testing their cars for some time now.
Initially, Waymo’s self-driving cars were not liked by many residents who found their presence disturbing in their neighborhood. However, after trying out one of their cars, many residents have changed their minds completely and have become frequent customers, loving the convenience and safety of the self-driving experience.
In contrast, many people have observed that human drivers in the same area frequently break traffic rules such as running 4-way stops and making U-Turns in the middle of an intersection; highlight the advantages of the predictability of autonomous cars. The only downside found by these residents seems to be the fact that some people wave Waymos through, mistaking their politeness for permission to proceed, when the cars might actually wait until the heat-death of the universe to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
However, there does seem to be a debate over whether self-driving cars are the best technology for mass transit once it is mature. Many argue that while self-driving cars may be convenient, there is still an issue of space efficiency, and so mass transit such as buses or trains would still be more suitable for large numbers of people traveling at the same time. Others argue that small one-person electric cars will eventually become the most suitable for road transit.
Despite the debate over which mode of transit is best, it is clear that Waymo’s self-driving cars are offering a better and safer driving experience for those who choose to use them. Their cars are reportedly well-maintained, have clean interiors, and provide great air conditioning, which is especially appreciated in hot temperatures. Additionally, customers enjoy not having to talk to a driver, listen to commercials or ads that would normally be played and get personal playlists while on the go.
As their commute becomes seamless, fast, and effortless, it is clear that customers who frequently use Waymo’s self-driving cars are looking forward to seeing more coverage and better availability of the cars in the future.
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Author Eliza Ng