Google’s Waymo Is Putting Up Billboards to Build Trust in Self-Driving Cars

October 9, 2017, 6:15 PM UTC

Waymo, the Google (GOOGL, +0.44%) project that spun out to become its own business under Alphabet, is launching an educational campaign on self-driving cars in the greater Phoenix area as more of its autonomous vehicles hit city streets.

The campaign, which Waymo CEO John Krafcik announced Monday via a Medium blog post, is a joint effort with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Safety Council, the Foundation for Blind Children, the East Valley Partnership, and the Foundation for Senior Living.

The “Let’s Talk Self-Driving” project is part education and part promotion for the technology. It will include digital, outdoor (primarily billboards), and radio advertising campaigns in Arizona. The message: the world would be a safer place and easier to get around (particularly those without a license) with self-driving cars.

Example of one of the new ads. Photo courtesy of Waymo
Courtesy of Waymo

Self-driving cars are hardly ubiquitous, but in certain autonomous hotspots, including Mountain View, Calif. and the greater Phoenix area, they’re becoming more common. And with that, comes lots of questions, Krafcik wrote.

Waymo tests self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans in Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix. The company also tests its self-driving vehicles in Mountain View, Kirkland, Wash., and Austin, Texas.

The Phoenix area has been a particularly important market for Waymo. The company launched a public “early rider” program there in April that invited local residents to use the self-driving vehicles for errands and everyday transportation needs. The company has yet to remove the human test driver, but it’s working towards that goal.