ARIZONA NEWS

Waymo announces expansion of operation to downtown Phoenix

Mar 31, 2022, 4:05 AM

(Waymo Photo)...

(Waymo Photo)

(Waymo Photo)

PHOENIX — Autonomous driving technology company Waymo announced Wednesday it plans to expand to downtown Phoenix.

Waymo has been operating in the East Valley since 2017 and introduced fully autonomous public rides in 2020, the company said in a press release.

The downtown Phoenix rollout will have a similar model, the company said, starting with employees of the company hailing rides with a person behind the wheel monitoring the autonomous technology before opening to members of its public testing program.

No date was provided on when fully autonomous rides would be available to the public in downtown Phoenix.

“Building a safe, robust, and generalizable autonomous driver—the Waymo Driver—whose capabilities and performance transfer well between geographies and product lines is our main focus,” Dmitri Dolgov, Waymo co-CEO, said in the release.

“Just as our previous experience allowed us to deploy our 5th-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 future expansion of our fully autonomous ride-hailing service.”

The company also announced Wednesday it has started testing fully autonomous rides in San Francisco.

It marks the first time a company is operating fully autonomous ride-hailing operations in multiple cities, according to the release.

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Waymo announces expansion of operation to downtown Phoenix