Waymo Expands 24/7 Driverless Service In Phoenix
Alphabet Inc’s (Nasdaq: GOOGL) self-driving platform Waymo recently began offering its driverless service to the public in Phoenix, Arizona. “The only autonomous airport service of its kind in the world” is available for rides between the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the city’s downtown area, “round the clock with no human driver.”
The service was initially rolled out at the Phoenix Sky Harbor in November to Trusted Testers. Trusted Testers were able to catch a ride between the airport to Downtown Phoenix with an autonomous specialist in the driver’s seat, which the company said it “will remove the specialist over weeks to come.”
Its completely driverless 24/7 availability in Phoenix marks a significant advancement for the robotaxi provider and the broader robotaxi industry. As they were careful to note (multiple times) in their announcement, “Waymo remains the first and only company to offer fully autonomous trips to members of the public 24/7 and in multiple metro areas simultaneously.”
Waymo co-CEO Dimitri Dolgov chalked up the swift expansion to the fifth generation Waymo Driver, which he called “a game changer.”
In San Francisco where Waymo also operates, the service is also available fully autonomously, 24/7, and across the city, but is limited to select members of the public, along with employees and their guests. People in the city can sign up to join the waitlist for the Waymo One app, while anyone in Phoenix can now download and use the app.
The service is now available in 41.2 square miles in Downton Phoenix, more than double its initial service area in the city.
The company has also announced that its next location will be in Los Angeles but has yet to disclose when it will be launched.
The General Motors-backed (Nasdaq: GM) rival platform Cruise also introduced its driverless robotaxi service in two new locations last week: Austin, Texas, and Chandler, Phoenix.
The service is only currently open to “friends and family” of the company’s employees, and at limited times of the day, but Cruise drummed up the speed at which it was able to expand into a new location.
“In Austin, we went from zero infrastructure (no maps, charging facilities, test vehicles, etc.) to fully functional driverless ride-hail service in about 90 days,” said Cruise CEO and co-founder Kyle Vogt in a tweet.
Information for this briefing was found via Waymo, TechCrunch, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.