How AV innovators are working to gain our trust

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The way we relate to autonomous vehicles—as drivers, passengers, and as humans—will change the way we think about transportation. As we evolve to a system in which technology takes the wheel, our relationship to vehicles—and trust of those vehicles—will evolve. Waymo, the self-driving technology company that was spun off from Google in 2016, is determined to humanize the entire experience.advertisement“Our design goal is to establish trust with our riders,” says Ryan Powell, Waymo’s head of user experience research and design. “We want people to feel comfortable and confident every step of the ride.”The question of trust is one that groups like the National Safety Council, one of Waymo’s Let’s Talk Self-Driving partners, is particularly interested in. According to Alex Epstein, the organization’s former director of transportation safety, trust goes hand in hand with safety. “Where you stand on trust depends on where you sit,” he says. “If you’re sitting in an [autonomous] vehicle, it’s a different level of trust than if you’re in a vehicle next to [that one], and another level of trust if you’re a vulnerable road user encountering that vehicle. I don’t …

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