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Meanderings of a Working Travel Agent

Waymo Cars – Driverless Ubers/Taxis

On a recent trip to Phoenix I was fascinated to see the Waymo cars – driverless ubers/taxis – making their way round the city.  I didn’t get a chance to ride in one unfortunately but friends told me that they did and it was “wild” – not in the sense of reckless driving – just in the idea of sitting there in a car with nobody driving it!  It’s quite the thought!

uber blog

On my way to a function in Phoenix I was sitting next to the window on the bus and one of these vehicles came up alongside us.  It was so weird to see this car slowing down at the lights, turning at the intersection, all without a human sitting in the driving seat.   When google first started up with these vehicles the headlines when there was a malfunction of the vehicle which resulted in a crash were huge.  I haven’t seen anything like that since.  So I did a little digging.  I found a report that Waymo’s parent company, Alphabet, published. 

The analysis covers over seven million miles of driving with no human behind the wheel, with Waymo cars having an 85% reduction in crashes involving an injury.

There are other reports to back up the fact that driverless vehicles have less crashes than humans behind the wheel.  After all, the vehicle is programmed to go at the legal speed limit.  Imagine that!  How many humans can say they always travel at the legal speed limit?

There would be no such thing as road rage with driverless cars. 

road rage blog

A robot has no feelings.

You also wouldn’t have to put up with a “chatty” taxi driver when you have just got off a 7 hour flight.

Although even Uber has a plan for that as you can request a quiet ride when you book.  Clearly chatty cab drivers have been an issue for a long time.

So maybe one day there will only be driverless cars.  Nobody will have to get a learners licence.  Kids won’t have to learn the traffic rules so they can finally be free and get their licence.  But there’s just one big problem.  What will the loud drivers do?  You know who I mean.  Those guys that drive past your house at 11 pm with a car roaring and banging.  Just look it up online.  There are millions, literally millions of articles about why these (mostly) men want cars that make such a noise and none of it is flattering.  

That’s what is so attractive about a driverless car – no attitude, no chat, no speeding, no tipping!  What do you think?


6 Responses

  1. Hmm 🤔 Not sure about driverless taxis and Ubers while travelling in another City or Country. Some of the best tips about restaurants and offbeat interesting places to see and things to do have been shared with us by local drivers for hire. (Of course this is in addition to all the tips and good information we receive from our Travel Agent prior to our departure!😉)

    1. sorry for the late response. I have been travelling (again) 🙂 I do agree that local taxi drivers can be a source of valuable information. That is a very valid comment. So often technology is not as good as human interaction. 🙂

  2. Wow Lesley …. I had no idea these driverless cabs were out there. Just wondering what happens if some crazy speeding driver crashes into the driverless cab causing injuries or worse?

    1. Now that’s a good question but that would be the same situation if a crazy speeder crashed into a regular cab. And there are some mad drivers out there unfortunately!

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The Travel Lady Blog

The Travel Lady

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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