Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes ride in Waymo self-driving car
PHOENIX — Self-driving vehicle company Waymo, an offshoot of Google, debuted its ride-hailing service in metro Phoenix last month.
Company representative Clem Wright told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the cars have been driving hundreds of residents around and, nationally, have logged 10 million miles on public roads.
“The most important thing to know about Waymo is that our No. 1 priority is safety, so everything we do, throughout the entire company, is focused on making the roads safer and making sure we’re driving safely,” Wright said.
But KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes wanted to know what the experience was actually like — so they tested the cars out for themselves.
Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes hitch a ride with a Waymo car, getting their first taste of self-driving technology.
Posted by The Bruce St. James & Pamela Hughes Show on Friday, January 11, 2019
“It feels like you’re driving much safer than you would drive yourself,” St. James said.
“You take a lot more chances behind the wheel than this would, right?”
Even if a safety driver weren’t in the car, St. James said didn’t think he’d feel any less secure riding in one of the vehicles.
Most of the danger involved with Waymo vehicles so far has come from people acting out against the cars.
Chandler police Det. Seth Tyler said earlier this month that there have been at least 21 attacks on the self-driving vans since the program began in 2017.
The attacks include people throwing rocks, slashing tires and even pointing a gun at a Waymo vehicle.