Waymo is opening its autonomous, driverless ride-hailing service to the public in Phoenix, Ariz. Initially, Waymo will allow existing early access riders to ride along with friends and family not registered with Waymo in the company’s driverless vehicles, which covers a 50-square-mile area southeast of Phoenix. Within a few weeks, the company will open registration to any interested riders in the area.
- The service initially served about 1,500 customers within a 100-square-mile service area. About half of that area is serviced by completely driverless vehicles, while the remaining zone requires back-up safety drivers. Waymo said vehicles featuring back-up safety drivers will return in the coming weeks.
- The Alphabet subsidiary temporarily paused some of its ride-hailing operations in March, after COVID-19-related concerns from back-up safety drivers. The service did not discontinue completely driverless vehicles, which services smaller service area.
- Waymo did not say how many fully autonomous vehicles will be available in the Phoenix area.