First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
Waymo has launched a driverless taxi service in Phoenix, Arizona, where riders will be charged for the journeys they take.
In a blog post, CEO John Krafcik says the commercial self-driving service – called Waymo One - is available to early riders who have already been using Waymo’s technology. The company hopes to make the service available to more members of the public as it adds more vehicles and drives in more places, he writes.
“Self-driving technology is new to many, so we’re proceeding carefully with the comfort and convenience of our riders in mind,” Krafcik adds.
A report by Reuters says the service will operate in a 100-mile zone in Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert.
The news agency took a trip but says its Waymo One taxi “proved slow and jerky at times” and was slightly more expensive than existing taxi options.
“For now, pricing is roughly in line with that of Uber and Lyft. A 15-minute, 3-mile (4.8 km) drive taken by Reuters last week cost $7.59, just above the $7.22 offered by Lyft,” Reuters adds.
Riders can hail taxis by downloading the company app and providing a credit card number. A human driver remains in the driver’s seat to take control in emergency situations.
Last month, Waymo was granted a licence to test fully-driverless cars on public roads in California.