Nearly a year ago, Waymo, the self-driving car arm of Google, began asking for volunteers that would take part in its Early Riders program to take free rides in the company’s autonomous vans.
Since that time, Waymo has accelerated testing of its self-driving cars announcing in January that it signed an agreement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to deliver 500 Pacifica Hybrid minivans adapted for autonomous driving. Just a few weeks ago, the company showed off the details of how its autonomous system works inside the minivans while driving city streets.
Now, Waymo has released a video that shows the experiences of Early Riders in Arizona riding in a fully autonomous vehicle where there is no driver although there is a Waymo engineer that is in the front passenger seat.
In the video, passengers run the gamut from being excited about having a car drive itself, wondering what other people are thinking about when they see a car without anyone in the driver’s seat, general nervousness about the experience and even one man who eventually falls asleep while on a journey.
The demonstration also shows how having a self-driving can free passengers up to do other things while on the journey such as checking your phone, doing work or even, yes, sleeping.
Would you feel comfortable enough to sleep in a self-driving car?