Waymo let a reporter ride in a fully driverless car

Last month, Waymo told people in its closed testing program that they’d start getting rides in driverless vehicles. Now in a new piece for Techcrunch, Ed Niedermeyer reports on his own experience riding in a fully driverless car.

Niedermeyer reports that the trip involved an unprotected left-hand turn, “busy city streets,” and speeds as high as 45 miles per hour. Niedermeyer says that his 10-minute ride from a park to a coffee shop was uneventful—which makes sense given how carefully Waymo must have prepared for it.

Still, this represents yet another baby step in Waymo’s journey toward full autonomy. And despite Waymo’s slow pace of progress relative to expectations it previously set for itself, the company still appears to be the industry leader. No other company is testing fully driverless rides on the scale or at the speeds Waymo is.