Alphabet-owned autonomous driving technology firm Waymo LLC is reportedly testing its autonomous taxi, Waymo One, in San Francisco, California, inviting people to experience the service.
The company recently declared the move, noting that it had rolled out its Trusted Tester program for autonomous ride-hailing last week in the City by the Bay.
Waymo commenced testing autonomous vehicles in San Francisco way back in 2009 and the firm began providing its employees with self-driving rides in the city earlier in 2021. Now, the company wants public members to try out the ride-hailing service and offer feedback on their experiences. However, participants in the research program would be accompanied by an autonomous specialist on board, said the company.
Waymo unveiled its self-driving taxi service in the Phoenix area in 2017 in a similar manner, commencing with a specialist on board the car before transitioning to being fully autonomous with the public service.
Along with Waymo One, the firm also has an autonomous trucking division, Waymo Via, which announced last week that it would be upscaling operations with a key hub in South Dallas, Texas.
Both the announcements come along the heels of the company reporting a USD 2.5 billion funding in fresh capital from investors two months ago.
For those unversed, Waymo LLC is a California-based autonomous driving tech development company. It is a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. Waymo operates a commercial autonomous taxi service, Waymo One, in the greater Phoenix area.
The company expanded its service to the public in October 2020 and is the only autonomous commercial service that works without having safety backup drivers in the vehicle.
Waymo also develops driving tech for other vehicles which include Class 8 tractor-trailers and delivery vans for logistics and delivery. The company is operated by co-CEOs Dmitri Dolgov and Tekedra Mawakana.