They are currently testing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans with no humans at all inside on public roads in Phoenix. If they get this right, adding a passenger via their early rider program will be easy.
Waymo uses LiDAR, Radar and it’s own vision system to see in 360 degrees around the vehicle. The LiDAR system consists of short range LiDAR and long range LiDAR, capable of seeing a football 2 football field lengths away.
Waymo’s Radar system also provides a 360 degree view and is highly effective in adverse weather like rain or snow.
The vision system has 8 modules each using multiple sensors, allowing them to detect small objects like construction cones.
Once they are done testing without any humans inside, they will add passengers. Still to be answered are several questions like who will insure the cars? What happens if there is an accident?
Imagine you have an accident and are suddenly unable to drive? What about having less cars on the road because you don’t need to own one anymore? Less cars on the road mean less pollution. What if you are elderly and have stopped driving?
If Waymo gets this right, we all benefit.