Advertisement

Waymo to test autonomous vehicles in San Francisco

Waymo to test autonomous vehicles in San Francisco
An undated image of a  Waymo autonomous vehicle. The company said it will start testing its vehicles in San Francisco. File Photo courtesy Waymo

March 30 (UPI) -- Google spinoff Waymo said Wednesday it has started testing its fully automated all-electric vehicles around San Francisco without a human safety driver.

Waymo is starting with its own employees but will soon expand to what it called "trusted testers." The program, which had been operating in suburban Phoenix, is the company's next step in turning self-driving vehicles loose to the public.

Advertisement

"We're particularly excited about this next phase of our journey as we officially bring our rider-only technology to San Francisco -- the city many of us at Waymo call home," said co-CEO Tekedra Mawakanain in a statement.

"We've learned so much from our San Francisco Trusted Testers over the last six months, not to mention the innumerable lessons from our riders in the years since launching our fully autonomous service in the East Valley of Phoenix. Both of which have directly impacted how we bring forward our service as we welcome our first employee riders in SF."

RELATED Chinese EV maker Xpeng starts European pre-orders for P5 sedan

Waymo has been running its fully autonomous vehicles in the Phoenix area since 2017, expanding it to public rides in 2020. The company has been shuttling hundreds of riders without a driver per week.

Advertisement

"Our commitment to Phoenix and the community there remains strong, and we'll soon be expanding to another area: Downtown Phoenix," Waymo said in a statement.

"Just as we've done before, we'll start with Waymo employees hailing trips with autonomous specialists behind the wheel, with the goal of opening it up to members of the public via our Trusted Tester program soon after."

RELATED LG Electronics to unveil autonomous vehicle next month

Waymo said this marks the first time an autonomous vehicle company is operating ride-hailing services in multiple cities.

"Just as our previous experience allowed us to deploy our fifth-gen driver in San Francisco quickly and with confidence, the combination of our experience in San Francisco and Phoenix's East Valley, grounded in millions of miles of real-world driving and boosted by billions of miles driven in simulation, is already guiding our progress in Downtown Phoenix and sets us up for the future expansion of our fully autonomous ride-hailing service," said Dmitri Dolgov, Waymo co-CEO, in a statement.

RELATED Boeing to pour $450 million into program for self-driving air taxi

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement