Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Dec 2018 23:36 UTC

Waymo, the self-driving subsidiary of Alphabet, launched its first commercial autonomous ride-hailing service here in the Phoenix suburbs on Wednesday - a momentous moment for the former Google self-driving project that has been working on the technology for almost a decade. I was one of the lucky few to test out the company's robot taxi experience a week before the launch. And I say "lucky" because to ride in one of Waymo's autonomous minivans, not only do you have to live in one of four suburbs around Phoenix, but you also have to be in a very exclusive, 400-person club called the Early Riders.

I want this technology to work.

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Odd contrast
by flypig on Thu 6th Dec 2018 11:33 UTC
Member since:

It's truly amazing technology. But this part stood out for me:

"When I use it, the app is a little buggy, which is typical of most beta software."

Which of course makes me nervous about the self-driving software too.

What I really mean is that, developers can do amazing things on the one hand, but still struggle to get the basics right on the other. It's an odd juxtaposition.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Odd contrast
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 6th Dec 2018 17:31 UTC in reply to "Odd contrast"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

Well, Not to introduce dev snobbery, but economic scarcity into the discussion:
Its easier and cheaper to find Android/ios devs than those that have expertise relevant to self driving technology.

The self driving devs are not writing the Android app.

But, yea they should have top tier mobile os guys on it, they're mfing, Google the creator of Android and author of some of the first and best IOS Applications, Google. First impressions for this kind of application are absolutely critical.

Reply Score: 5

No way
by darknexus on Thu 6th Dec 2018 18:26 UTC
Member since:

I wouldn't ride in any autonomous service or vehicle controlled by a company whose primary income stream comes from advertising. Can you imagine the temptation to interfere with travel routes to make sure you drive past a certain sponsored business? Or, worse yet, refusal to take you to a business which hasn't paid as much for ads as their competitor? I love the technology and hope that autonomous vehicles really take off (though I'd rather own, not rideshare) but I don't trust Google/Alphabet/Whatever they feel like calling themselves today. The temptations would just be too strong for a company based on data mining.
Edit: typo.

Edited 2018-12-06 18:27 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: No way
by BushLin on Thu 6th Dec 2018 22:12 UTC in reply to "No way"
BushLin Member since:

I'm totally comfortable with Google adding eyes, ears and sensors on the streets to go with all those phones, CDNs, defacto video service and server analytics...

Oh wait, no, that'll be the apathy of the majority. I'll just keep away from them in vain while my friends and family deliver my personal data to Google and Facebook for me.

Reply Score: 1