Phoenicians have been zooming throughout the city in cars for a while now, but if you find yourself on the east side of town, you might notice some funny looking vehicles on the road. You look over to find out what the heck the vehicle is when you notice the person sitting in the driver seat does not even have their hands on the wheel! That strange looking vehicle is actually a self driving car.
Self driving cars have been hanging out in the east valley since 2015. Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order in the fall of 2018, the Institute of Automated Mobility (IAM). IAM is bringing together the Arizona Department of Transportation, Arizona Department of Public Safety and three Arizona Universities along with Intel to form IAM. Governor Doug Ducey stated that IAM will be about “advancing all aspects of automated vehicle science, safety and policy.” Arizona is striving to become the leader in developing and testing vehicle technology. With the safety of Arizonans in mind, there is a good chance we could see an increase in self driving cars in the coming years.
Waymo and cruise are the self driving vehicles you will see in the east valley. You can easily point out the self driving cars not only by their big logos on the car but by the computer and cameras that reside on the top of the car. Many might say the tops of the cars look like hats. Might be slightly goofy looking, but the vehicles are helping keeping the roads safer.
Now that you’re excited about being able to have a self-driving car drive you around town, so you can take an endless amount of photos of the sunrises and sunsets in Arizona, how do you get behind the wheel of one? It is easy to request a Waymo or Cruise, you just request it like you would if you were using UBER or a Lyft. Go into the app and request where you want to be picked up or dropped off. It is that easy!
Hopefully in the next few years with IAM being integrated and the demand for self driving cars increasing, Phoenix residents will begin to see more and more self driving cars. This is an exciting time for technology for those who reside in the state of Arizona. We are driving into the future!