Waymo has been testing self-driving cars with 400 riders in Phoenix for a year. Here’s what it’s learned so far

Through their experiences, Waymo has learned a few things:

  • It needs to get better at designating specific pick-up entrances at a store so that frustrated riders won’t have to lug shopping bags through the hot sun to reach a car
  • On narrow streets, riders prefer to cross the road to reach a car, instead of having it drive to the end of a road, turn around and come back
  • It needed to figure out how to accommodate people with service animals (it figured this out after a query from a passenger)
  • The best way to wake sleeping passengers is with a little chime sound.

Not all the rides have been seamless, which is kind of point of this experimental phase.