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October 8, 2021

Why I Ride with Waymo: John

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Editor’s note: Today marks one year since we opened up Waymo One fully autonomous rides to any member of the public in Metro Phoenix. Since then, we’ve served tens of thousands of rider-only trips for thousands of riders, including John, who has taken more than 400 rides over the past year. Not only is this more than any other Waymo One rider has taken, it's also more fully autonomous rides than anyone in the world has ever done! With such an honor, we wanted to talk with him for our latest Why I Ride and hear more about how he feels about Waymo One, with one year and hundreds of trips under his belt.

John, can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

My name is John, and I live in Chandler, Arizona, right by Chandler Fashion Center.

You've taken more fully autonomous rides than any other rider. What do you primarily use Waymo One for?

It is my primary mode of transportation to and from work and all other activities. A few years ago, I was going to buy a new car, and then my daughter was accepted to NAU, so I gave her the new car and decided to take Waymo as my mode of transportation. I use the service almost daily - to go golfing, work and to eat out.

Could you tell us what your first fully autonomous ride was like and how that compares to your current rides now that it's a part of your daily life?

Riding from day one is similar to the rides I take today, with the exception of being nervous the first time.

Have you brought any friends or family along for a ride? If so, what have they thought, and what would you say to others who might be hesitant to get in a car with no human driver?

A few were hesitant to get in the car without a human driver, but once they saw how the car drove they were more comfortable. For those hesitant, I tell them it feels safer to me than taking a taxi in NYC.

Do you give feedback after your rides? What kinds?

I mostly give feedback on the route or drop off location. For example, before the pandemic, the car would drop me at my office, but it has since adjusted its recommended pick up and drop off locations to be a bit further away from the destination, so I have given feedback on this and in the interim have found another drop off a few blocks closer.

What has been the biggest surprise for you about our autonomous driving technology?

How reliable it is.

That’s our goal! Thanks for chatting with us today, John.