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Driverless cars: ABC15 takes exclusive ride inside Waymo car

ABC15 takes ride inside driverless Waymo
Posted at 5:01 AM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 08:51:08-05

It is like getting an Uber or a Lyft, except the ride is a little more consistent.

"Is it going to be white-knuckle the whole way? Or is it going to be the guy who takes an extra three hours to get you to your destination?" Alex Hoffman asked jokingly of the popular car services. 

With Waymo, Hoffman said he gets the same "driver" every single time. 

He is a part of the Early-Rider Program and signed up on the company's website that is only available in Arizona. 

Hoffman has become a part of the testing and can now hail a ride via technology.

ABC15 is the only news organization in the state that was able to ride along with Hoffman as he took a driverless ride in Chandler. 

Hoffman said his first experience was something he will never forget. 

"I had a big grin on my face the whole time because it's driving itself," Hoffman said. "It's unbelievable!" 

Inside the Waymo are screens on the back of the seats that show what the car is seeing on the outside with its vast number of sensors.

"So, if it was a regular person driving - two eyes, right? They can see a limited space," Hoffman described. "This car, I know by looking at this, that it can see all around me at all times." 

Self-driving cars have caused concern, especially that Uber self-driving crash that killed a Tempe pedestrian back in March.

But, Waymo has not seen a serious incident like that and more than 400 people have signed up for the Early-Rider Program.

Waymo has their Safety Report online and in it, they break down their core reasons for pushing this technology. They say it's all about safety. 

According to their report, in 2015, there were more than 37,000 people were killed on our nation's roadways. 

But, besides injury and death, Waymo writes that they also want to give independence back to seniors and those with disabilities. 

Plus, the average person spends 40 hours per year in traffic. They hope self-driving cars will make that time more productive. 

"We already put a lot of faith in technology day-to-day," Hoffman said. "It's not a huge leap for it to be driving our car." 

To sign-up for the Early-Rider Program, click here