Do you think you're ready to take a ride in an autonomous vehicle?

By definition, an autonomous vehicle can drive itself from a starting point to a predetermined destination in “autopilot” mode "using various in-vehicle technologies and sensors, including adaptive cruise control, active steering (steer by wire), anti-lock braking systems (brake by wire), GPS navigation technology, lasers, and radar."

Waymo is a leader in the industry and they've just announced a multi-year strategic partnership to make the Waymo Driver available to more people via the Uber platform.

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People can also book a Waymo ride directly through the Waymo One app. The company says their vehicles have driven millions of miles through countless situations on public roads, as well as billions of additional miles of simulation, allowing them to gather vast amounts of data to take autonomous driving technology further than anyone.

According to Waymo's website:

We’re building a Driver that’s leading the way for the entire industry. Informed by unmatched experience and designed with safety at its heart, the Waymo Driver is our autonomous driving technology that never gets drunk, tired, or distracted.

They claim the data to date indicates that the Waymo Driver is reducing traffic injuries and fatalities in the places where we operate. Recently, Waymo’s autonomous ride-hailing service expanded its coverage in metro Phoenix.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

That brings us to Duluth native Kathy Lund, who was recently visiting Phoenix when she needed a ride. She had heard about Waymo and decided to download the app and give it a try to find out what a driverless experience is all about firsthand

The first video below was her first trip when she was sitting in the backseat of her driverless ride. How comfortable would you be in sitting back there alone?

As you can see and hear, it's a fairly interactive experience and you do have customer support available through the app and inside the vehicle through its in-car screen.

In case you're wondering, you can have as many as four people in a Waymo car at once. You can sit in the backseat or the passenger seat, but nobody is allowed in the driver's seat, as you can see in the second video.

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In the second video she recorded on her trip, she took a Waymo driverless ride at night and while Kathy again sat in the backseat, she had another in the passenger seat.

Are you ready to give it a try?

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