Fancy checking out what it's like to travel in a driverless car? For free? Well, you are kindly invited to participate in the first public trial of Waymo's self-driving vehicles in Phoenix, Arizona.

Waymo used to be the Google self-driving car project, but in 2016 it became an independent self-driving technology company wiht a clear vision of making autonoums drive safe, convenient and easy for people.

Launching their 'early rider program' (apply here) they offer people to use Waymo self-driving cars for their usual, everyday trips - for going to school, to work, grocery shopping, out on the town, and more. The program's goal is to give early riders everyday access to the vehicles, so they can take rides as frequently as possible - one member of a family applies, but the entire family is able to use the serivce. All residents in parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert can apply.

After the test drive is completed and the passenger on trial ride reaches desired destination, he or she will be requested to share with Waymo team how the ride and the overall experience felt like. With passengers' input, the team will gather data in order to see how self-driving cars are supposed to work in reality and to learn of possible improvements. 

If you decide to join, you'll be using Lexus RX450h and new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. Wondering, how safe this adventure is? Since 2009, when Waymo started as the Google self-driving car project, they covered almost 3 million self-driven miles, which the company says equals over 400 years of human driving experience. Additionally, they also made 1 billion miles of simulated driving in 2016.

Sounds intriguing! If you're in the neighbourhood, might be worth giving this a try.

April 25, 2017 Driving photo: Waymo

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