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January 20, 2022

Why I Ride with Waymo: Rolinda

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Editor’s note: Since launching the Waymo One Trusted Tester program in San Francisco earlier this year, we’ve given rides to hundreds of San Franciscans and tens of thousands more have signed up. We recently sat down with one of these Trusted Testers, Rolinda, a lifelong San Francisco resident who uses Waymo to traverse the city without the stress of driving or the burden of finding parking. Read on to hear more about her autonomous adventures and the value she finds in an autonomous ride-hailing service like Waymo One.

It’s great to meet you, Rolinda. Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and how you’ve been using Waymo One so far?

I’m a retired systems engineer and live in the Sunnyside. Since Waymo came into my life, or I joined your life, I’ve been using it quite a bit to do shopping. I also use it to get to medical appointments, go out to lunch or the movies, and to run errands.

Oh wow, you’re really getting a lot out of it! What have you liked about it so far?

I really enjoy using Waymo to go to places where it’s difficult to find parking, so it’s opened up the places I can get to more easily. I can take Waymo to go to the Marina or the Haight, not an easy place to park or drive, and I can just hang out and walk and check out the different local stores and eateries.

Alternatively, I’ve gone to Golden Gate Park during the weekends when it’s especially crowded, and it’s nice because I can take a Waymo ride to one side of the park, walk through, and then get picked up on the other side. These are areas I might not have usually gone to on my own, but because Waymo can get me there in an awesome way, I take advantage of it.

That’s great to hear. What types of feedback do you have about the experience?

I know it’s consistent - I know I'm getting into the same car every time, and that it’s clean, comfortable, and let me emphasize again, that it’s clean. I also appreciate that Waymo is cautious and has respect for pedestrians, cyclists, and other cars…maybe sometimes too much respect. But you need to give it the time it needs and really respect the fact that it is autonomous and understand that the route it takes or how Waymo cars behave around other pedestrians or other cars may not be the way you would. You have to remember, it’s literally not a person driving. I’m enjoying the experience, and I’d like to help shape it wherever I can.

Have you had the chance to use any of our custom features, like playing music from your phone or making multiple stops in one trip?

Yes, I’ve made multiple stops a few times, and it’s great for going somewhere to pick something up when you want to come right back home. It’s easy because you don’t have to re-hail, so it’s a cool feature, especially for quick errand trips.

Anything else you want to share about your experience as a Trusted Tester?

I’m happy with how it’s been going. I understand tech, software, and backend systems, so I have really noticed when you’ve done an update. I can feel even the bits of assertiveness being integrated into the software. And very early on when I was rating the rides, I said the minute Waymo becomes invisible to drivers and seen as just another car on the road, you’ve absolutely arrived, and it seems to be getting a little closer to that with each update.

We love when riders notice their feedback getting incorporated into the service! That’s all we’ve got for today. Rolinda, thanks for sharing your experience with us.