Waymo, the industry leader, did not do as well in recent passenger surveys as expected.
At the Automated Vehicles Symposium in Orlando, Lyft’s Jody Kelman stated that 96 percent of those riding the Aptiv and Lyft robotic oxide service in Las Vegas were positive. Feedbback for Waymo’s service was not quite so positive and showed a more complex picture.
Waymo ratings in Arizona
Waymo is seen as an industry leader in the development of autonomous driving. But this doesn’t mean Waymo is exempt from criticism. As the German magazine Handelsblatt writes with reference to the magazine “The Information”, almost one third of the respondents criticized the ride with the robot taxi service Waymo One. The service has been on the market since last December and transports people to their destinations. Here, too, there are professional drivers on board who can intervene in an emergency.
Evaluation in Silicon Valley
The analysis of the evaluations showed that around 30 percent of the respondents were not completely satisfied with the service. In Silicon Valley in neighboring California, satisfaction was only 53 percent. These included Waymo employees who could presumably have a different view of the company.
Points of criticism
The test-character of the trips was criticized, as were the route selection and the delays with the self-propelled cars. The latter could be due to the larger number of users. However, there was a lot of applause for the Waymo services, especially regarding the control of complicated traffic manoeuvres.
Ongoing backlash against Waymo
Above all, however, Waymo is still struggling with the non-acceptance of the technology in the USA. There, the vehicles and drivers are regularly attacked. The motives can only be guessed at: Anger about automation and the associated job losses as well as their driving style, which is getting better and better.
Waymo responds to the criticism by improving the service. Recently, Waymo started to offer free Internet access and increased the comfort of its vehicles. And thanks to the cooperation with AutoNation, it is also possible to clean vehicles on a more efficient scale.
About the author:
David Fluhr is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics.