Waymo Expands Autonomous Ride-Hailing Service to San Francisco

Alphabet's Waymo announced that its autonomous ride-hailing service, Waymo One, is now open to everyone in San Francisco.
Alphabet's Waymo announced that its autonomous ride-hailing service, Waymo One, is now open to everyone in San Francisco.

Alphabet’s Waymo said on Tuesday its autonomous ride-hailing service, Waymo One, is now available to everyone in San Francisco, nearly four years after a similar move in Phoenix, Arizona.

Commercial Potential and Regulatory Scrutiny:

Driverless vehicles are expected to drive commercial success for automakers even as regulatory scrutiny remains tight amid investors’ concerns about growing investments in the nascent technology.

Waymo started a test service with its research-focused program in San Francisco in 2021, which included an autonomous specialist on board for all rides as it sought to commercialize the technology.

Strong Demand for Waymo One:

The company said that about 300,000 people had signed up to ride with Waymo since it first opened a waitlist in the city, signaling strong demand. With open access, anyone can request a ride on its app.

The company had opened access to everyone in Phoenix, Arizona, without a waitlist in 2020.

Mountain View, California-based Waymo is a self-driving technology pioneer. It started its first U.S. driverless taxi service in 2020, over a decade after being born in 2009 as a project inside Google.

Regulatory Approvals and Competitor Landscape:

In March, the company received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to start its Waymo One in Los Angeles and some cities near San Francisco.

Rivals, including General Motors-backed Cruise and Amazon.com’s Zoox, are accelerating a race to succeed amid probes by auto regulators into the performance of autonomous driving cars.

Safety Concerns and Investigations:

Last month, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had learned of nine additional incidents raising concerns about the performance of Waymo self-driving vehicles.

James Adam

James Adam, a noted business writer for CEO Times Magazine, specializes in insightful industry analysis and executive profiles. Known for his clear, concise style, James offers readers an expert perspective on global business trends and market dynamics.

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