AUTOMOTIVE NEWS, 1 MAY 2017, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:
Test rides in the cars of the future are becoming more available to the public, and are no longer limited to engineers, executives and journalists.
Last week, Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle arm, said it would give Arizona residents access to its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans and Lexus RX 450h crossovers for daily use. With the introduction of the program, Waymo joins Uber, Tesla Inc. and Volvo Cars in opening its technology to a public that has been slow to embrace self-driving vehicles.
Waymo’s Arizona program lets interested residents apply via its website to become “early riders.” It is limited to residents of specific areas of Phoenix and applicants must be at least 18 years old. If accepted, applicants and their family members can use Waymo vehicles — which are supervised by trained drivers — for daily transportation.