Waymo robotaxis start driving to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport terminals during off-peak hours

Dec 14, 2023, 1:00 PM

A Waymo One passenger takes luggage from a self-driving SUV at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport....

Waymo One robotaxis have started curbside service at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s terminals during off-peak hours, the company announced Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023. (Waymo Photo)

(Waymo Photo)

PHOENIX – Waymo One robotaxis have started curbside service at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s terminals during off-peak hours, the company announced Thursday.

The driverless SUVs are now picking up and dropping off riders at Terminals 3 and 4 from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. as Waymo works toward offering the curbside service 24/7.

Waymo already provides regular service to and from the PHX Sky Train stations, where passengers can board shuttles that connect to both terminals and the rental car center.

Nicole Gavel, head of business development and strategic partnerships for Waymo, said the nature of traffic at the terminals presents unique challenges for the autonomous vehicles.

“Safely testing and deploying this new autonomous capability is only made possible by our close partnership with Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and we thank them for taking this ride with us,” Gavel said in a press release.

When did Waymo robotaxi service start at Phoenix airport?

Driverless Waymo SUVs started picking up and dropping off riders at the 44th Street PHX Sky Train station in December 2022, making Sky Harbor the first airport in the world with autonomous vehicle service.

The service was later expanded to the 24th Street PHX Sky Train station.

“This partnership has allowed us to develop confidence in the technology, and we’re excited to take the next step and safely expand this innovative service to our terminal curbs,” Chad Makovsky, Sky Harbor aviation director, said in the release.

How long has Waymo One been operating in metro Phoenix?

Waymo One debuted the world’s first commercial driverless ride-hailing service in 2020, covering about 50 square miles centered around Chandler.

The service expanded to include over 180 square miles covering most of Chandler and Tempe and parts of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Mesa in May of this year.

The range grew by about 45 square miles in July, with destinations such as Camelback Mountain, McCormick Ranch and The Farm at South Mountain within the service area.

Riders can hail Waymo One robotaxis the company’s app, similar to how Uber and Lyft work.

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Waymo robotaxis start driving to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport terminals during off-peak hours