Waymo brings autonomous ride-hailing to San Francisco

Waymo, the self-driving vehicle company under Google’s Alphabet, has begun trialling their autonomous ride-hailing service in San Francisco, welcoming their first riders this week.

As part of the company’s Trusted Tester program, residents are invited to take a ride in an all-electric, self-driving, Jaguar I-PACE vehicle. The SUVs are equipped with the fifth generation of Waymo’s autonomous driving technology, called Waymo Driver.

Despite Waymo operating in the city for over a decade, this is the first time it will offer such rides to the public.

“Through the Trusted Tester program, we’ll help San Francisco residents expand their mobility options while complementing the city’s robust public transportation infrastructure,” the company said in a press release announcing the program. “We can’t wait to hear from more San Franciscans as they experience the Waymo Driver themselves.”

The San Francisco roll-out will mirror the company’s strategy used in Phoenix, with “autonomous specialists” – or human safety operators – sitting in the front to monitor the ride and ensure a safe experience.

San Franciscans can download the Waymo One app and express their interest in joining the program, which will begin with an initial select group from diverse backgrounds with varied transportation needs. In exchange for the rides, which are free, users will give feedback on the Waymo One app.

VIDEO: Waymo | Welcoming our first riders in San Francisco

Source: Waymo | Welcoming our first riders in San Francisco

26 August 2021

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