As I stepped into the back seat of Waymo's self-driving minivan for a ride around the company's test facility in Atwater, California, it felt like dozens of other times I had ridden in a minivan. That changed once I shut the door and I took off for a short drive where the minivan encountered pedestrians, stalled cars, bicyclists and a variety of staged scenarios.
I experienced how many of us could be making trips when there's no one behind the wheel.
"We're excited where we are right now," said John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, formerly known as the Google self-driving car project and now a separate company within Google's parent company, Alphabet.
"This technology has the potential to be transformative."