People in Metro Phoenix who hail a ride with Waymo’s fully autonomous service, Waymo One, are experiencing the newest frontier of mobility with recent service upgrades and in-car features.
Waymo Product Manager Ryan Hendrickson recently spoke with ABC15 Arizona about the new Waymo One features.
“We’re always looking at ways we can enhance the rider experience through various features in the app and within the car itself,” said Waymo Product Manager Ryan Hendrickson.
Based on the feedback submitted by riders, Hendrickson’s team crafted and deployed new features for Waymo One, which has operated in the Phoenix East Valley since 2018. Since last October, the Waymo Driver has been picking up passengers without an autonomous specialist in the vehicle.
A redesign of the in-car passenger screen, a unique feature that allows riders to easily follow their trip’s progress along the route; customizable dashboard ID for easier visual recognition of a hailed vehicle; new options for personalizing in-car audio; and the ability to add multiple stops on a single trip are just a few updates Hendrickson said riders can expect to see in Waymo One.
New In-Car Displays
Waymo One’s in-car screens let riders know how the technology is navigating the world.
They share what the Waymo Driver – the name Waymo uses for its fully autonomous driving systems – is thinking and seeing and are the main source of information for riders in Waymo One vehicles.
“These screens have evolved over the last few years and we’re always incrementally working to make them more flexible and intuitive,” Hendrickson said.
Car ID: Your Name Here
A new Waymo One feature will now help riders more easily identify which Waymo vehicle is theirs by letting them choose a unique two-letter ID and color scheme to be shown on their car’s dashboard, visible through the windshield, at pickup..
“In my app, I could select my initials, in my case ‘RH,’ and every time I hail a Waymo ride, the car I get will display those initials through a screen placed on the dash,” Hendrickson said. “This is especially helpful at night when it’s dark outside or when riders may be getting picked up in a busy area where there could be multiple cars waiting.”
Your Ride, Your Playlist
Waymo’s team knows that riders love to listen to music while riding with the Waymo Driver. New streaming features will soon let riders play their own audio – anything from podcasts to audio books and music streaming services – inside the vehicle.
“This is a really exciting feature that gives our riders even more freedom and personalization options as they ride with Waymo,” Hendrickson said.
One Journey, Multiple Stops
Waymo is launching a multi-stop feature that allows riders to plan trips that may include multiple destinations with varying times between each stop.
The feature comes based on feedback from riders that they would love to be able to make multiple stops during their trips for things like getting groceries and dropping kids off at school, among other errands.
“This is extremely valuable not only in a place like Phoenix, where many riders are used to relying on having their own personal car for the duration of their errands, but also in other more urban cities, where residents regularly use ride-hailing services to run errands and do similar activities,” Hendrickson said.
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