Waymo and AAA team up to educate kids on self-driving cars

Waymo thinks the young'uns have a unique perspective on self-driving cars.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
Waymo and AAA educate kids

Adults may be making all the decisions about self-driving cars and their associated regulations, but Waymo believes kids should have a say in the blossoming technology.

That, Waymo announced today, is why it's partnered with AAA to educate kids about autonomous vehicles and the technology. Not only do the kids get a chance to speak their mind about the technology, but Waymo brought in AAA School Safety Patrol members from a few states to witness how it works.

Members from Northern California, Nevada and Utah were all invited to Waymo's closed-course facility to see how the cars react to various situations. The overarching partnership with AAA will seek to educate everyone about self-driving cars and to gain their trust. And Waymo says it thinks the youngsters can offer up a fresh take on the technology.

Since children today are growing up at a time when the technology is rapidly evolving, Waymo says it wanted to hear their perspectives on how it can improve road safety. One elementary school student said self-driving cars "would definitely be a lot safer since the people who are distracted aren't in control."

It's this kind of perspective Waymo says it wants to hear to ensure it remains focused on the top safety priorities. The student's teacher added that it's important that any autonomous system ensures the safety of children, too.

Waymo has been busy working on its own ride-hailing program called Waymo One. As a beta, selected riders can hail a self-driving Waymo vehicle to take them to their destination. The company said it wants to keep expanding the program. Maybe someday, a self-driving car will take the kids to school.

Waymo's autonomous Pacifica cruising through Castle

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Watch this: A ride on public streets in Waymo One