Automotive

Waymo One self-driving taxi service launches in Phoenix

Waymo One will initially be available only to members of the early rider program in Phoenix
Waymo One will initially be available only to members of the early rider program in Phoenix
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Waymo One will initially be available only to members of the early rider program in Phoenix
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Waymo One will initially be available only to members of the early rider program in Phoenix

Waymo – formerly the Google Self Driving Car Project – began inviting folks in Phoenix to ride its autonomous cars in April 2017, a few months after the new Alphabet company was formed to commercialize the technology. Now Waymo One has officially launched, a commercial endeavor aimed at getting more of the public on board.

Initially, Waymo's One vehicles will have a trained human driver behind the wheel, ready to take over if issues arise and look after the needs of passengers, and will only be open to those who have been using the pilot scheme introduced last year. Members of the early rider program will continue to give feedback to Waymo and test early features and capabilities ahead of more widespread public availability.

Waymo's eventual aim will be to ditch the drivers and offer a completely autonomous taxi service in Phoenix, though the company hasn't offered a project timeline.

But the Waymo team has given a glimpse of how One will work. Customers will be given access to a mobile companion app, which can be used to book a vehicle 24/7. Rides are being offered across a number of cities in the Metro Phoenix area – including Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert – and pricing estimates based on such things as time and distance will be displayed before the rider hits the Request Ride icon.

If riders have queries during a trip, there's an in-car console that's designed to tell them what they need to know at the touch of a button. The companion app can also be used for this purpose.

Up to three adults and one child can ride along in the One self-driving vehicle at any one time, with journey feedback encouraged to help shape the future of the service. The introductory video below has more.

Source: Waymo

Introducing Waymo One, the fully self-driving service

4 comments
f8lee
Was that photo taken in LA? Sure doesn't look like Phoenix...
guzmanchinky
"trained human driver behind the wheel" That's the most dangerous part... I cannot wait to take my first ride in a car with no driver. We are soooo close...
CorvetteRacer
The picture looks like it was taken by Tempe Town Lake.
SoundRacer
Waymo One, the name illustrates the big traffic problems that mobility researchers are warning about: A large increase in one person vehicles on the streets and roads when everyone can take a low cost ride alone in a cab. The sustainable mobility solution requires a safe and secure way to share the ride with strangers, like the electric CabiBUS that offers privacy in comfortable one person cabins. Shared rides will also result in even lower cost for the trip making it an attractive alternative to the private car for commuting within at least a 100 km range and bring the fastest way to fossil fuel transportation.