‘I’m so done with driving’: is the robot car revolution finally near?

By | March 10, 2019

When a driverless Uber killed a pedestrian, the onset of autonomous vehicles seemed to stall. But Waymo is cautiously but confidently forging ahead

In the manicured grounds of a public library in Chandler, Arizona, Liisa Walimaa is waiting for a robot to take her to Macy’s.

For a year Walimaa has been a participant in a closely guarded experiment being run by Waymo, a division of Alphabet (née Google), in this suburb of Phoenix that could change the face of global transportation on a scale unseen since we ditched horses for cars.

A few years back, everyone thought this was science fiction. Now they’re like: ‘Oh, why isn’t this here yesterday?’

Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan traverses public roads in Chandler, Arizona. Photograph: Waymo

One of three screens displays the user interface inside a Waymo vehicle in Chandler, Arizona. Photograph: Caitlin O’Hara/Reuters

An Uber self-driving SUV that flipped on its side in a collision in Tempe, Arizona, in March 2017. Photograph: AP

Related: Street wars 2035: can cyclists and driverless cars ever co-exist?

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