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Google’s Waymo launches self-driving ride-share service

Primarily, the services would be delivered in the Phoenix area.

Alphabet’s Waymo has officially launched the country’s first commercial autonomous ride-share service. Began as the Google Self-Driving Car Project in 2009, Waymo missionizes to make it safe and easy for everyone to get around – without the need for anyone in the driver’s seat.

The company’s Waymo One program will offer rides in self-driving vehicles 24 hours a day, while, initially it would be limited to cities surrounding Phoenix, including Tempe, Mesa, and Chandler.

Reportedly, Waymo’s cars have robotically logged on public roads in 25 cities in California, Arizona, Washington, Michigan, and Georgia while getting into only a few accidents.

Cautious Approach to Waymo

As there might be many potential customers with desires to ride in an autonomous vehicle, the Waymo One service will initially be offered to a limited number of people including hundreds of people in the Phoenix area who acted as test users of the Waymo self-driving vehicle fleet that has been in development since April 2017.

About Waymo’s Expansion

Eventually, the company plans to open its new app for all the customers in the Phoenix area, although did not report when. Moreover, it has also informed to expand its service to other cities but has not named any of them.

John Krafcik, CEO, Waymo, stated, “Self-driving technology is new to many, so we’re proceeding carefully with the comfort and convenience of our riders in mind.” Waymo taking a cautious approach rolling out its ride-share service, as for initial days, it would provide safety drivers to supervise the rides. Additionally, the riders would be able to instantly connect with support agents who can assist riders with questions through the company’s app and consoles in the Waymo One vehicles.

Who is the next to start self-driving ride-share service?

Waymo One is the initiator in the market for such services, while reportedly, General Motors subsidiary Cruise is also planning to launch a similar service using self-driving vehicles in coming times. The early bird has reported to be expecting the cost to consumers for using Waymo One to be competitive with Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services in the market.