First Runner: Waymo One

Waymo has leaded the autonomous driving competition in nearly 10 years. This competition has more player than anytime, including traditional car manufacturers and leading internet companies. On 6th Dec, Waymo passed the milestone that they announced their new service, Waymo One in Arizona.

Waymo has deployed hundreds self-driving cars based on Chrysler Pacifica minivans in Arizona. Arizona is a self-driving car test city for different announced driving players. The first self-driving car accident which killed a pedestrian was happened in Arizona too. The crash was caused by an Uber self-driving test car in March. From 2017, Waymo had been offering the free driving to limited members as part of its Early Rider program. Anyone who become the member of Early Rider program can summon the Waymo car for free trip in suburban Phoenix area. After the launch of Waymo One, more people can join and experience the self-driving. However, it’s not free anymore.

Waymo One App via Waymo Medium

Waymo One provides7x24 hours service. Its App has the similar user interface as Uber andLyft.  You can input your pickup locationand your destination. As you hit the request ride button, a Waymo self-drivingcar will come to pick up you. App will try to get an accurate position from youor recommend a pick-up point, because it can’t have a conversation as human driver.Waymo One still have safety drivers right now. But safety drivers don’t need todo anything in the car except accompany passengers and monitor the opeartion. In one respect,safety driver helps release the nervousness of the passengers.

In the Verge interview video, it shows Waymo self-driving car also provide extra navigation information in the backside of seat. It includes the real-time speed, surrounding car position in blue rectangle shape, pedestrians in white highlight and route plan in green.

Waymo self-driving car navigation info display screenshot via Waymo Medium

Users also can get support from the operation center by clicking the support button in the display. These information looks like the navigation scene in the airplane, but it contains more detail. It aims to tell people what Waymo self-driving car is doing and make you feel relax. According to the passenger, Waymo One is an absolute model driver. It performs conservatively. Any potential risk that even people don’t notice is sensed by the different combination of sensors. 

Waymo One is the first step of self-driving commercial operation. It also gives the pressure to Uber and other competitors. They have to follow up soon. This game is still on the way.

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