Waymo announces driverless test program in Phoenix, accepting ride hails soon

Waymo's fully self-driving cars are here

Waymo recently hosted a number of journalists at its private Castle testing compound, and treated us to rides with no safety driver behind the wheel - now, the former Google self-driving vehicle company is going farther still, however, launching public road tests of its autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans with no safety driver on board. "They'll be able to go fully driverless, without anyone at the wheel, in an entire geographic area in the Phoenix metro region".

"We have a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around", Krafcik wrote in a speech prepared for the summit. We like to say: "we're not building a better vehicle, we're building a better driver". The employee won't be in the driver's seat and will probably sit behind the driver's seat.

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"To have a vehicle on public roads without a person at the wheel, we've built some unique safety features into this minivan".

Waymo, which started life as a project within Google's moonshot research lab, has been developing autonomous vehicles for over eight years. More than 37,400 people died on USA roadways in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, including about 3,400 distracted driving-related deaths.

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"Starting now, Waymo's fully self-driving vehicles - the most advanced self-driving vehicles on the road today - are test-driving on public roads, without anyone in the driver's seat", the company said.

Watch the driverless cars in action below.

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