Waymo Confirms Driverless Rides
Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo self-driving car unit has begun testing driverless rides as part of its robo-taxi pilot program in Chandler, Ariz.
The so-called “rider-only” service, details of which were leaked earlier this month, allows a few hundred participants in the company’s early rider program to reserve a driverless vehicle, Waymo chief John Krafcik tells reporters in Detroit. He says users are required to sign non-disclosure agreements.
Riders are notified in advance that the vehicle won’t have a trained safety driver on board. They also are sent a link to a “what-to-expect” informational website about the program, according to earlier reports.
Waymo began offering free rides to select customers in autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans (with backup drivers) in Phoenix in April 2017. A for-pay pilot program was launched there last December.
Krafcik says Waymo also is moving forward with its self-driving commercial truck program with tests of specially fitted Peterbilt big-rigs in Arizona, Georgia and Michigan. He’s optimistic about such applications but points out that regulations currently don’t allow for driverless trucks.
Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo autonomous vehicle unit is expanding its testing of fully autonomous vehicles in Arizona with several new partnerships.
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