Waymo launches robotaxi service in Arizona

Waymo, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet Inc., on Wednesday launched a commercial robotaxi service in Arizona

Waymo began developing driverless cars in 2009.

ADVERTISEMENT

The new Waymo One service works similar to Uber or Lyft, where users download an app on which they load payment info. A Waymo engineer will sit behind the wheel in case anything goes wrong, but the cars will primarily drive themselves.

This iteration of the service will be available for “a few hundred customers” in a 100-mile area near the Phoenix suburbs.

“Over time, we hope to make Waymo One available to even more members of the public,” Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “Self-driving technology is new to many, so we’re proceeding carefully.”

Along with the official announcement, Waymo released a Medium post detailing what a ride with their service would be like.

Several other companies have made splashes in the self-driving car industry recently, but Waymo is the first to offer a paid service.
 
Uber and Toyota began a partnership to develop driverless cars in August, despite a deadly crash involving an automated Uber in Arizona halting on-road testing. Honda made a $2 billion investment in General Motors's version of the driverless tech in October.