Waymo One passengers reveal what it's really like to ride in Alphabet's self-driving taxis
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)=
- We spoke to two Waymo One early riders about their experience in the company's self-driving taxis.
- Together, the pair have easily amassed more than 100 rides from the Alphabet subsidiary.
- The vans are surprisingly nice, both riders said, and disengagement is minimal. Still, there's a lot more improvement needed before they ditch their personal vehicles.
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The world's most exclusive club might be in Chandler, Arizona.
For months, dozens of self-driving vans owned by the Alphabet subsidiary Waymo have been crisscrossing the Phoenix suburb on the first rollout of the company's autonomous driving program.
Plenty of people have noticed them - but very few were allowed to take rides. And those "early riders," as the company calls them, were subject to strict non-disclosure agreements.
Reid Beer and Shawn Metz were two of those lucky first riders.
In December, Waymo's early rider program shifted into its first commercial service, now known as Waymo One.
Business Insider spoke to Beer and Metz, who both live in Chandler and are participating in the Waymo One program, about what it's like to ride in the futuristic vehicles.
In total, the pair have easily taken more than 100 rides in Waymo's cars - and they spoke candidly about how flawless the service already is, even with backup safety drivers still present in the driver's seat. Here's what they had to say:
Rides are easy to hail, and arrive within minutes
The cars are surprisingly nice for minivans
Sometimes Waymo is even cheaper than Uber
The riders we talked to are mixed about the presence of safety drivers
Unlike Uber, there's no conversing allowed here.
Luckily, the safety drivers don't have to take over often
An expansion could be in the works soon
But there's still a lot to be done before riders could ditch their personal cars
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