Waymo just slid its self-driving ride-hail app into the Google Play Store
Unless you live in the Metro Phoenix area, it’s just an app without a car without a driver.
If you live in the Metro Phoenix area and aren’t already part of Waymo’s small pool of riders, your chance is coming. Waymo just uploaded the Android version of its ride-hail app to the Google Play Store.
Interested users can download the app and apply to get waitlisted to be accepted into Waymo’s “Early Riders” program. Sounds like a lot of waiting around to me, although the thought of not having to talk to a taxi driver ever again does have some appeal. Waymo launched its first commercial autonomous taxi service in the cities around Phoenix late last year, with a limited number of riders.
While that test was invite-only, now that the app is on the Google Play Store, it’s essentially self-invite, which is fitting for the self-driving theme.
Presumably, you can also self-pay, self-carry-your-luggage, and self-amuse on your self-driving Waymo trips. Do you also self-tip?
The publishing of the app on the Google Play Store is a signal that early testing has gone well and Waymo is ready for more riders. Only the Android version of the ride-hail app is publicly available right now, with Waymo saying that there is an iOS version, just that it will be a little while longer before that hits the App Store.
If you live in Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, or Gilbert, head on over to the Google Play Store to download the app and sign up. Once accepted, you’ll be part of Waymo’s vanguard of early riders, able to call a driverless chariot to take you wherever you need to go. It’s not clear if you’ll have to sign a nondisclosure agreement once selected, early rider program members needed to so it’s likely you will as well.
If you don’t live in the Metro Phoenix area, download the app anyway, try to hail a driverless taxi and recreate the usual taxi booking experience when one doesn’t arrive.
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