Waymo’s autonomous vehicle service opens in downtown Phoenix to general public

Nov 10, 2022, 4:00 PM
(Waymo Photo)...
(Waymo Photo)
(Waymo Photo)

PHOENIX — Waymo began offering its fully autonomous, round-the-clock rides to the general public in downtown Phoenix on Thursday.

The company tested the fifth-generation Waymo Driver in downtown starting in March and felt the technology was capable of delivering the service safely, the California-based company said in a press release.

Participants can hail a paid ride using the app.

The driving technology company started offering rides at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport last week to those who signed up with the Trusted Tester program, as it continues to expand its availability in the Valley.

It began testing in the East Valley in 2016 and offering its services to the area in 2020 as the first 24/7 public autonomous ride hailing service in the world.

“After invaluable feedback from our Trusted Testers, we’re excited to offer Waymo One to anyone in Downtown Phoenix starting today,” Chris Ludwick, Waymo product management director, said in the release.

“Our fifth-generation Jaguar I-PACE vehicles offer a trusted space where people feel confident hailing a ride in Downtown Phoenix – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

The vehicles use an extensive map of the area, cameras, radar, light detection and ranging and a computer “brain” to navigate its surroundings.

Waymo plans to offer rides to and from Sky Harbor in the coming months but did not give an exact date.

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Waymo’s autonomous vehicle service opens in downtown Phoenix to general public