Not everyone is ready to trust self-driving cars with their lives, and Waymo is here to change that.
The self-driving car company, which is a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, announced today it’s launching the “Let’s Talk Self-Driving” campaign to teach the public about basic self-driving car technology and convince them that autonomous vehicles are safe to ride in.
Waymo is launching the new ad campaign in collaboration with several other organizations including Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Foundation for Blind Children, National Safety Council, and Foundation for Senior Living.
The campaign’s central component is a website assuring readers that Waymo’s cars are both perfectly safe and the way of the future.
The website features testimony from sponsoring organizations emphasizing the importance of self-driving cars for individuals with disabilities, the elderly, those who need to multitask, and those who need a designated driver.
The campaign will also include a large advertising push over internet, digital, and radio platforms.
“Let’s Talk Self-Driving” marks Waymo’s first foray into outreach and education. The company has largely pursued technological development since its spin-off from Google in 2016.
And while the popularity of autonomous vehicles may seem sudden and recent, the technology has been in the works for almost a decade. While Waymo and Intel announced a groundbreaking new partnership in September, Waymo later revealed that the two had been collaborating on autonomous cars since 2009.
Waymo has also teamed up with Lyft, Chrysler, and Avis for projects and development efforts in the past — a far cry from nonprofit organizations like MADD.
There’s little word in promotional material as to what distinguishes this campaign from a large-scale advertising campaign for Waymo’s fleet, or whether the “education” provided will be more insightful than a sales pitch. But if self-driving cars are truly safer and more accessible to the public, then perhaps all news is good news.