Waymo, the autonomous vehicle company, is expanding its driverless ride-hailing service to Austin, Texas. Although it only recently arrived in Los Angeles, Waymo is eager to grow its operations. The service will start with driverless operations this fall, and the public will be able to access rides in the upcoming months. The coverage is expected to be extensive, encompassing significant parts of Austin, including downtown and popular areas like Barton Hills and Hyde Park. To join the service, interested users can sign up for a waitlist.
The decision to launch in Austin has sentimental value for Waymo, as the city was chosen for some of its earliest self-driving tests outside its original base in Mountain View. In 2015, Waymo made history by offering the first fully autonomous ride on public roads. Since then, the company has been testing its self-driving SUVs in Austin during the spring.
Austin will become the fourth city to receive Waymo One, following Phoenix, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. While the ride-hailing service was previously limited to certain areas in these cities, Waymo recently expanded its operational area, encompassing larger portions of Phoenix and San Francisco.
The expansion to Austin reflects Waymo’s emphasis on ride-hailing services, as the company postponed its plans for autonomous trucking to focus on passenger service. It aims to make Waymo One a commercial success by expanding its operations and obtaining permission to serve paying customers. There is a sense of urgency due to competition from rivals like Cruise and Aurora, who are also testing their services in Texas.
However, there are challenges to Waymo’s overall growth. In San Francisco, authorities are concerned about the safety of robotaxi deployments, with Waymo and GM’s Cruise vehicles causing traffic issues and interfering with first responders. Additionally, some cities and states have not yet approved the use of self-driving cars. Nevertheless, Austin’s openness to the technology and its rapidly growing economy offer opportunities for Waymo’s success in the region.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Keyword: Waymo One
1. What is Waymo’s latest expansion?
Waymo is expanding its driverless ride-hailing service to Austin, Texas. The service will start with completely driverless operations in the fall, and public rides will follow in the upcoming months.
2. Where will the service be available in Austin?
The service is expected to cover major stretches of Austin, including the downtown core, Barton Hills, Hyde Park, and other well-known areas.
3. Can I sign up for the service now?
Yes, interested users can join the waitlist to access Waymo’s driverless ride-hailing service in Austin.
4. Why did Waymo choose Austin for expansion?
Austin holds significance for Waymo as the city was selected for some of its earliest self-driving tests outside of its hometown of Mountain View. Moreover, the city’s rapidly growing economy and openness to technology make it a suitable choice for expansion.
5. Which cities have already received Waymo One?
Waymo One is already available in Phoenix, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Austin will be the fourth city to receive the service.
6. What are the challenges to Waymo’s growth?
Some cities and states have not yet approved the use of self-driving cars, and there have been safety concerns about robotaxi deployments in places like San Francisco. However, Austin’s openness to technology may help overcome some of these obstacles.
7. How does Waymo plan to compete with other companies in the market?
Waymo is focusing on ride-hailing services and has delayed its autonomous trucking plans to prioritize passenger service. The company aims to expand its operations and gain permission to serve paying customers to succeed in the competitive market.
More about Keyword: Waymo One
- Waymo: https://waymo.com/
- Waymo One: https://waymo.com/waymo-one/
- Austin, Texas: https://www.austintexas.org/
- Phoenix: https://www.phoenix.gov/
- San Francisco: https://www.sfmta.com/
- Los Angeles: https://www.lacity.org/
- Waymo’s Self-Driving Tests in Austin: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-selfdriving-google/google-starts-testing-self-driving-cars-in-texas-idUSKBN0EK1XN20140619
- Waymo’s First Autonomous Ride: https://www.wired.com/2015/05/googles-self-driving-car-takes-first-drive-around-city-no-steering-wheel-necessary/
- Competition (Cruise): https://getcruise.com/
- Competition (Aurora): https://aurora.tech/