For the last several years, Waymo, a subsidiary of Google‘s parent company Alphabet, has been testing and improving its autonomous car technology by building a fleet of driverless taxis. The American company has now announced plans to expand its Waymo One Unmanned Taxi Service in Phoenix, Arizona, opening it to the general public in the American city.
It is the initial opening of the service to the public, after having it in testing since 2017 with only the members of the testing program. Over time, the service has been improving, and according to Waymo, between 5% and 10% of the rides, they have made in 2020 being fully driverless. Now it seems that the service is already mature enough to take the next step: open it to everyone.
Now all registered users of the Waymo One Robotaxi service should be able to order vehicles without a safety driver for their journeys through the city and its metropolitan area and share their experience with the world. Waymo announced that new customers would also be added via its app, available for both Android and iOS, in the coming weeks. The journeys are monitored by radio link.
In the near term, 100% of the Waymo One rides will be fully driverless. With the decline in demand recorded in the months of the coronavirus pandemic, the company also intends to intensify its attention to hygiene onboard its vehicles, remotely monitoring them to verify that passengers comply with all safety regulations in force, at the same time, guaranteeing regular sanitation of the passenger compartment.