Waymo Launches Nation’s First Commercial Self-Driving Taxi in Arizona
Google’s self-driving car spinoff is finally ready to try to profit from its nearly decade-old technology.
Waymo is introducing a small-scale ride-hailing service in the Phoenix area that will include a human behind the wheel in case the robotic vehicles malfunction.
The service debuting Wednesday marks a significant milestone for Waymo, a company that began as a secretive project within Google in 2009. Since then, its cars have robotically logged more 10 million miles on public roads in 25 cities in California, Arizona, Washington, Michigan and Georgia while getting into only a few accidents — mostly fender benders.
The company is initially operating the new service cautiously, underscoring the challenges still facing its autonomous vehicles as they navigate around vehicles with human drivers that don’t always follow the same rules as robots.