Insights from a Waymo self-driving taxi beta tester 

The Verge has a great piece looking at some of the real-life scenarios posed to Waymo’s fleet of self-driving cars in Arizona, the largest public test of its kind.

Reporter Andrew J Hawkins talks to Shawn Metz, one of Waymo’s select number invitees for the testing phase. Metz has been posting about his experiences on Instagram and YouTube, and seems to have taken a keen interest in pushing the boundaries of what this tech is currently able to do:

He recalled a handful of moments when the Waymo vehicle appeared confused by certain situations, such as a crowded parking lot outside Costco. “I was really ambitious and I tried to take it to Costco on the weekend during the holiday season,” he said. “And basically we essentially got kind of stuck outside of entrance.” After several minutes of failing to find a gap through the number of pedestrians streaming in and out of the store, Metz said the vehicle “timed out” and the safety driver had to call Waymo’s remote support center for re-routing help.

He goes on to say that rainstorms seem to be a problem for the cars, with the in-car human safety driver taking over – though it wasn’t clear if that was out of an abundance of caution, or a software failing.

Metz says he hasn’t experienced any of the aggressive behaviour towards the cars that a recent New York Times article discussed.