What it’s Like to Ride in a Self-Driving Car for the First Time

It’s 2018, but relatively few can say they have had the opportunity to ride in a fully autonomous vehicle.

For the hundreds of CES attendees who took a ride in our self-driving car down the Las Vegas strip, it was certainly a novelty. What’s it like? We captured these first reactions from within the vehicle. 

Riders were intrigued when the computer announced it was in automated mode and when it was going to make lane changes. They were in awe of the display that showed what the vehicle’s sensors could see in real-time, everything from pedestrians to traffic lights. But otherwise, the consensus was that it’s  very much like a normal car ride. 

Almost all passengers surveyed said the ride was better than expected. Many explained they were impressed with the smooth and human-like driving.

“The ride was so smooth you forgot that no one was driving,” said one respondent. “Just felt and looked like a normal vehicle.”

Even in their very first ride in a self-driving car, excitement often turned to a comfortable “boredom” on their smooth, uneventful trip through typical downtown traffic.

“We had a nice ride around Las Vegas, but it turned out to be one of the least thrilling things I've done at CES so far — but that's a good thing,” says Avery Hartmans in this Business Insider article.

“By the time we drove to Caesar's Palace and back, I was 100% comfortable in the car. In fact, the most exciting moment was at the end, when the car completed a perfectly executed U-turn on a busy street and the wheel turned all on its own. Otherwise, the ride was almost boring. But compared to the alternative, boring is actually pretty great.”

The novelty of riding in one of Aptiv’s self-driving cars quickly turns to… normal.

Read more about our partnership with Lyft and recent announcement to expand our Las Vegas pilot. 

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