If you live in or around Phoenix, you will soon have the opportunity to trust the lives of your family members and yourself to a self-driving car from Waymo, the subsidiary of Alphabet (still known to almost everyone as Google). Waymo began a public test of its vehicles in February, the first since development began in 2009. The Wall Street Journal’s Tim Higgins reports on the new tests:
Waymo said that, starting Tuesday, it will begin accepting applications through its website from people who want to be part of the Early Rider program. It isn’t clear when people will begin riding in the vans.
In greater Phoenix, Waymo will test the cars in an area that is twice the size of San Francisco, including in the suburbs of Chandler and Tempe. Users can summon the vehicles with a special app at any time of the day. A safety operator will be behind the wheel in case human hands need to take over as is the case with other test vehicle programs around the country. The vehicles will have steering wheels and brakes.
Waymo said the goal is to see how far people will go to replace their own personal transportation.
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