Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car division, along with several other groups, are initiating a campaign to convince Americans of the value and safety of driverless cars, as Congress considers how it will regulate the technology. According to the American Automobile Association, about three-quarters of U.S. drivers say they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car.
On Monday, the company announced a campaign called ‘Let’s Talk Self-Driving’ with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Safety Council, and the Federation for Blind Children. The main idea behind this campaign is to inform citizens about how self-driving cars could be helpful in eradicating most alcohol-related crash deaths, and would also be of great help to the visually impaired.
Waymo declared the campaign will start on Monday (date?) in Arizona, where the company is testing self-driving cars. They also plan to include digital ads, outdoor billboards, fuel pump advertising, and radio spots. The company did not disclose how much this advertising campaign would cost.
John Krafcik, Chief Executive at Waymo, mentioned in a blog post: “There’s great enthusiasm and curiosity about self-driving cars – and there’s some confusion, too. The technology can help address some of the biggest safety challenges on our roads today.”
U.S. traffic deaths jumped 5.6% in 2016 to a decade-high of 37,461, and pedestrians killed rose 9% to 5,987, the highest number since 1990.
However, Waymo is not the first company to advertise about self-driving cars. Intel has also come up with commercials starring LeBron James, which they will televise during the NBA season opener on October 17th. The main goal of both companies is to create awareness and educate about the safety of autonomous vehicles.
“Education begins with awareness, so we’re beginning this campaign with a series of digital and outdoor advertising campaigns in Arizona,” Krafcik said. “Our hope is to grow this conversation into a national dialogue and provide opportunities for people to get up close with this technology.”