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Chandler unveils drop-off, pick-up zone for self-driving cars

(City of Chandler Photo)

PHOENIX — It’s about to get easier for self-driving cars to drop off and pick up passengers in Chandler.

The city of Chandler, in partnership with Waymo, on Friday unveiled the nation’s first drop-off and pick-up zone for autonomous ride-hailing cars.

“It is a designated area in front of City Hall off to the side of the road where riders can access the vehicles in a safe location,” Micah Miranda, the city’s economic development director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The zone has a sign that states the area is a passenger loading zone for autonomous ride-hailing vehicles. Five-minute parking is allowed.

Miranda said it was installed “to help facilitate the acceptance of this technology in Chandler.”

He said it also was installed to make it easier for city employees who are part of a one-year pilot program to get around. They use Waymo self-driving cars to commute to and from offsite work meetings.

The drop-off and pick-up zone outside City Hall is the only one in Chandler right now, but Miranda said more could be added soon.

“We are identifying other locations that make sense for this improvement,” he said.

He added that the zone sends the message to companies producing self-driving cars “that Chandler is the destination that is open to new ideas, or wanting to be the leader in autonomous vehicle research, development and testing.”

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