Over 50,000 Riders in Vegas Went Driverless
Almost a year ago exactly, we decided to ask consumers what they thought of self-driving vehicles. Around this time, the autonomous Waymo project had tested in five states. Aside from misconceptions due to negatively skewed news articles or drivers being wary of giving up control, one of the major problems automakers may be running into is that although the Waymo self-driving car is popular and possibly the most widely known project, the Waymo is made up of a modified Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Millennials and Generation Z will be the drivers embracing autonomous driving the most, and they don’t want a minivan. Now in 2019, Waymo had a deal with Lyft, but they weren’t the only ones. Numbers talk, and in a single year, consumer interest in self-driving vehicles has grown.
From 2018 to Now
Back in 2018, the American Automobile Association conducted a survey of 1,014 adults to learn about the common public’s attitude towards autonomous self-driving vehicles. According to their results, 73-percent of American drivers are afraid of riding in an autonomous vehicle, and two-thirds of the sample population reported that they would feel less safe on the road knowing that a self-driving vehicle was also on the road. We think it’s safe to say that’s changed.
When we checked up on the Waymo project last, the Waymo self-driving project has received some upgrades and has started to go public with the Waymo One self-driving program, releasing the app on the Google Playstore. It’s still only available in the Phoenix Metro area, but still, that’s one more step to making the Waymo One a commercial service, and it’s about time. During the autumn of 2018, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) invested $30 Million to turn their Chelsea Proving Grounds into a testing facility for autonomous vehicles they’re designing for retail. On top of that, FCA proposed Renault with a merger of the two automotive companies. If Renault accepts, the two will make up the world’s third-largest automaker.
Back to the public view on self-driving vehicles. In May 2019, Lyft announced a new partnership with Waymo and agreed to add ten of their autonomous vehicles to the Lyft service in the Phoenix area. As long as their pickup and destination points fall within the range of Waymo One, users of Lyft can now hail a self-driving vehicle. Waymo One isn’t the only self-driving program Lyft is parenting up with, though. Popular ride-sharing service and global technology company Aptiv also made a deal with Lyft, providing the service with 30 BMW 5-series cars with self-driving technology on board in Las Vegas.
Yes, Las Vegas is a busy place and there are people driving around all the time, or at least ride-hailing, so it may not be a difficult feat, but through the Aptiv partnership, Lyft completed 50,000 rides in Las Vegas with modified BMW 5-series vehicles. Now that’s a vehicle that Millennials and Gen Z can get behind the wheel of – or in this case, get in the backseat. It’s a full-size luxury vehicle, so just imagine this high-class sedan rolling up to the sidewalk, and there’s no one there. Consumers just need to hop in. If it comes in black, it’s like an episode of Nightrider.
So, what do you think of self-driving vehicles now? Over 50,000 people were willing to get in the backseat of a driverless vehicle in Vegas. How about you? Tell us your thoughts on Aventura Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram social media.