The CEO of Waymo Says Driverless Vehicle Service is Coming Soon
LAGUNA BEACH, CA- Marketwatch.com writes that Waymo, owned by Alphabet Inc., is planning to launch a self-driving car service within a matter of months. The CEO says that they anticipate businesses to be their main customers.*
The service will be available for individual passengers to use, but also plans to have businesses pay to bring customers to its store. For instance, Walmart could pay to use the vehicles to shuttle customers to and from its locations.
The initial service will be in and around Phoenix, but Waymo plans to expand to other areas rapidly. Waymo has been intending to launch the service in 2018 and hasdeals with Fiat Chrysler and Tata Motors to purchase thousands of vehicles to increase the size of its fleet.
The program, which began under Google, has been driving the vehicles for years and has used them for millions of miles. The company piloted programs in Arizona which taught the company how people use technology and how customers will interact with the automated vehicle service.
Waymo executives have been surprised by the number of companies that have expressed an interest in paying for their customers to use the service to get to and from their shops. The company had not anticipated this level of interest and now says that this could be a big part of the service’s business.
Waymo has potential competition from other services that are working to develop and deploy similar vehicles. General Motors is testing vehicles in San Francisco.
The company has also entered the commercial trucking business, and its vehicles are currently delivering freight.
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