Joel Johnson has encountered odd situations before while riding in Waymo's fully autonomous vehicles. Heck, he's even encouraged them.
As a member of the company's Waymo One ride-hailing program, the Arizona State University student has requested pickups and drop-offs at a local Costco because he knows the parking lot teems with pedestrians. Or rides to In-N-Out Burger because there are traffic cones near the drive-thru that may prove challenging.
Johnson has amassed extensive Waymo One experience, with 146 rides covering 1,111 miles and counting, all documented on his website, jjricks.com. The most notable of his rides without human backup drivers came May 3 during what should have been an ordinary jaunt between two metro Phoenix strip malls. Instead, a construction zone flummoxed his Waymo minivan.