Earlier this month, Google’s autonomous vehicle division, Waymo, announced they would be purchasing thousands of new Chrysler Pacifica minivans and put them to work in cities such as Phoenix, Arizona.
That’s where this footage was taken, depicting people’s reactions to being driven around in an autonomous Pacifica with no human driver or supervisor in sight.
Occupants’ reactions to the self-driving Pacifica range from saying it feels weird to acknowledging that this is the future.
The overall vibe of the video is very positive, and passengers can be seen going through multiple moods and phases, from being very excited, to preoccupied (on their phone) and even asleep, suggesting that Waymo’s prototypes are doing a solid job at getting from A to B safely and smoothly.
Then again, that’s a promo video, and we’ve seen that the AI controlling autonomous vehicles is not infallible, so we’d feel safer if a human was behind that steering wheel to monitor the situation and intervene when necessary.
Once operational, using such a service could cost as little as what you pay when you take a Lyft or an Uber, the difference being that Waymo won’t have any drivers that need paying.
The tech firm has already stated that their cars are very safe, boasting safety-net systems such as backup steering and braking in order to bring you to a halt in case of an emergency.