Waymo’s wild driverless-taxis are now open to the public
Would you ride in a fully self-driving robo-taxi?
Way back in 2017, Waymo first began testing for its driverless robo-taxis. Then, in 2019, Waymo starting up a program that opened up the service to users through the Waymo One program. This program allowed people to test out Waymo’s self-driving capabilities through driverless robo-taxi rides around Phoenix, Arizona.
Now, Waymo, which is under Alphabet, is expanding its driverless service to all Waymo One riders. In a blog post, CEO John Krafcik notes, “Beginning today, October 8, we’re excited to open up our fully driverless offering to Waymo One riders. Members of the public service can now take friends and family along on their rides and share their experience with the world.”
Krafcik goes on to state that in the coming weeks, Waymo will extend the driverless robo-taxi service to more members of the main Waymo app, as well.
The area in which people can use this service is still pretty small, obviously. Gizmodo notes that Waymo’s robo-taxis operate in “an approximately 100-square-mile area southeast of Phoenix that includes the towns of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Tempe, but its fully driverless cars are limited to a service area roughly half that size.”
As for long-term goals, Krafcik notes that “in the near term, 100% of [Waymo’s] rides will be fully driverless,” but that’s about as specific as it gets. There is no set timeframe at this time.
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