Self-Driving Cars: Are Driverless Cars Safe? Here’s How They Work

By: Todd Covelli | Kristina Guerrero | Victor Padilla Posted: 3:54 PM, May 15, 2019 Updated: 3:55 PM, May 15, 2019

If you still think self-driving cars are science fiction, think again! Waymo, the largest driverless car operator in the U.S., has been testing their service in several cities for the last few years. And after more than 10 million miles of driving, they’ve invited a select group of people to use the service just as they would Lyft, Uber or a taxi. So we caught a ride with Jordan Ranous – one Waymo’s earliest users – to get a taste of self-driving cars.


1. Are Self-Driving Cars Safe?


We’ll start by answering a question that’s probably on everyone’s mind: are self-driving cars safe? “It’s always going to make the safe bet on when it’s able to go,” assures Jordan. “It knows how fast it can accelerate, so I’m always confident when it’s pulling out that it’s going to make the right choice.” Also, its hi-tech sensors can see better and farther ahead than any human, catching red light runners with plenty of time to spare. “The car is checking all directions at once, so it can see when somebody is coming,” adds Jordan. Sounds convincing to us!


2. Should Self-Driving Cars Replace Human Drivers?


Next – should self-driving cars replace human drivers? Well, they offer a few pros to consider. First, with Waymo you can expect the same experience each time you ride. “Every time I get in, I know it’s going to be clean, it’s going to be a nice car, and I know what to expect,” asserts Jordan. “And it’s always going to be about the same temperature inside, winter or summer.” On the other hand, these factors can vary widely depending on which driver and vehicle you get from the usual ridesharing apps. Another benefit? All cars come equipped for kids, too! “I have a five-year-old daughter and I don’t have to bring a car seat,” adds Jordan. “They actually provide a child seat and a booster seat in every single Waymo.” Moreover, Waymo says that 94% of all crashes in the U.S. involve human error, and that their car service won’t only make roads safer – it could save commuters money, too! More info on that below.


3. The Purpose of Driverless Cars


Are you questioning the purpose of self-driving cars? For some riders, driverless cars serve as a private vehicle replacement – which could potentially save cash! “[You don’t have] to pay for all the maintenance, the wear and tear on your car, [and] the insurance,” shares Jordan. “Using it as a primary mode of transportation recently – it doesn’t even add up to a full other car payment.” While Waymo hasn’t officially announced pricing yet, they say it will be competitive!


Would you take a ride in a driverless car? Now you’ve got three things to help you weight out your decision.


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