This California summer, passersby on the streets of San Francisco can be divided into two camps: blase locals who are used to a parade of moving cars with no drivers or gobsmacked tourists fumbling for their smartphones to capture this long-promised vision of the future.
Katherine Allen climbs into a white Jaguar, which then pushes out carefully into the traffic in a busy neighborhood crisscrossed by jaywalkers and cyclists.
The 37-year-old lawyer has been voluntarily testing Waymo's robot cabs since the end of 2021. At first, there was always an employee of this subsidiary of Alphabet (Google's parent company) on board, there to grab the wheel if needed.
And then one night with very little warning, the car came to her unchaperoned.
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