Waymo’s Ride-Hailing Service Disappoints
PHOENIX, AZ – As reported online by investors.com,self-driving technology company Waymo recently introduced an autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix, Arizona, and the service has disappointed many in the business.*
The service made its debut in Phoenix on December 5, and Waymo decided to take a cautious approach. Waymo, which is owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., has been working with Google to develop autonomous technology since 2009 and has logged more than 10 million miles in self-driving cars on roads in five states, including Georgia. The company was making big promises leading up the launch of its ride-hailing service.
But ultimately, Waymo did not deliver on many of those promises. The company is still requiring human safety drivers in every vehicle and limiting the service to only 100 square miles in Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, and Gilbert. The service is also only available to people who are already participating in Waymo’s pilot program, which began in 2017.
Critics think Waymo is trying to have its cake and eat it, too. The company knows it is setting up near the site where a self-driving Uber car struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, so it understandably played things safe. At the same time that it is requiring human drivers and limiting area, though, Waymo is trying to claim its taxis are fully self-driving.
Waymo has future plans of opening the ride-hailing service to the greater Phoenix area, but it has not announced a timeframe for that expansion. It would also like to bring the service to other cities in the U.S., but it has not indicated which cities it is considering. Likely, these will be cities that, similar to Phoenix, have relaxed laws with regard to self-driving vehicles.
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