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Driverless vehicles still rolling in Phoenix

You might have seen one of Waymo's driverless minivans and just didn't notice it. After all, according to news media reports, the self-driving vans have been rolling around the Phoenix area since late 2015.

Late last year, Google's driverless car tech company began sending the vans out sans humans inside. That's right. No one inside the vans to grab the wheel. Waymo recently release a 360-degree video of its driverless vehicles in motion on Maricopa County streets. Proponents of self-driving technology insist that it holds the potential to eliminate a variety of traffic-related problems such as drunk driving arrests, congestion and motor vehicle accidents, among others.

The Arizona Department of Transportation recently approved Waymo's application to serve as a transportation network here. It's a big step for the company that is slowly, steadily getting closer to launching a fully driverless ride-hailing service that will go toe-to-toe with Uber.

First, it needs to reassure Phoenix residents (and then people across the nation) that driverless vehicles will be able to safely navigate urban streets.

Part of its campaign to persuade people is in the new video the company released. A narrator explains the sensors (LIDAR, radar and high-def cameras) used in Waymo vehicles and the 360-degree view is intended to mimic the scope and power of the sensors.

In the virtual ride-along, you watch as the vehicle makes left- and right-hand turns, stops, starts and other parts of routine traffic navigation. Unsurprisingly, everything is seamless in Waymo's promotional video.

Many observers are unconvinced that the company and its competitors will soon be ready to roll out driverless vehicles.

For those facing a drunk driving charge in Maricopa County, an attorney experienced in DUI defense can help protect your rights, freedom and driving privileges.

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