Waymo, the autonomous vehicle arm of Alphabet, has started rider-only services in Phoenix, Arizona, as part of its testing of driverless technology in the U.S.
Waymo has started rider-only, or driverless, services in three different locations in the U.S. including having just started driverless tests in San Francisco. The other two locations are in Arizona. Waymo was also one of two companies that has been authorized to charge for robotaxi rides in the city alongside Cruise Automation.
Waymo has been one of the companies at the forefront of autonomous vehicle testing with the company having driven an estimated 2 million miles of real-world testing of the autonomous vehicles and millions of more miles done in simulations.
Autonomous vehicle testing is ramping up in the U.S. and China has technology that is advancing far enough to allow vehicles to drive themselves safely. While there are still many obstacles left to pass before they go mainstream, ride-hailing and car-sharing are likely to be revolutionized when all-day services are all connected to different networks globally.
In the video, Phoenix Mayor, Kate Gallego, goes for a ride in a Waymo autonomous vehicle. Mayor Gallego rode in Waymo’s first rider-only service that is operating in downtown Phoenix. The mayor is seen in the driverless robotaxi as the vehicle makes turns and navigates the busy streets of Phoenix.