Waymo takes the wheel for rider-only service in downtown Phoenix
PHOENIX – Self-driving tech company Waymo rolls out the next phase of its ride-hailing service in downtown Phoenix with passengers only starting Tuesday.
The company emphasizes there won’t be a safety driver behind the wheel; service is limited to Waymo’s employees and Trusted Testers ridership.
Waymo said in a tweet posted Monday it was “excited for more people to experience” the ride for themselves.
The program area will start small then expand, Waymo said.
According to the website, the project is still entertaining interest from potential new riders.
Trusted Testers can hail a Waymo driver through the app. Downtown Phoenix riders will be in the backseat of a Jaguar I-Pace. Other riders have made trips in a van.
The autonomous driving rolls through the Valley in three places and in three ways:
• Downtown Phoenix: Paid rider-only trips to Waymo employees and Trusted Testers.
• Phoenix Sky Harbor: Trips from downtown to the airport for Waymo employees, with an autonomous specialist in the driver’s seat.
• East Valley: Rider-only trips to members of the public.
Waymo has been operating in the Valley since 2017, initially concentrating on Chandler, Mesa and Tempe and introduced fully autonomous rides to the general public in 2020.