Companies often keep a human being behind the wheel in case the technology fails so the human can retake controls of the car if need be. Building on the self-driving car advancements, the company will soon invite human riders to partake in a new self-driving car ride-hailing service.
Waymo will select the first riders from those who participated in an Early Rider program in April of this year. The users will hail a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica and the car will shuttle them to their desired destination in a geo-fenced area, the car will only operate in a previously decided set of routes, likely ones best mapped by the cars.
At first, Waymo will still place an employee in the back seat of the car, but eventually, a Waymo employee won’t be present at all. Human riders will use a button to stop the car should anything fail, but Waymo is fairly confident such a need won’t arise.