Autonomous Vehicle

Waymo to test its robotaxis on Phoenix freeways

Waymo will begin testing its fully autonomous passenger cars without a human driver on freeways in Phoenix to soon help Waymo One riders get where they’re going safely and efficiently. Just as they have taken a phased approach to rolling out their technology and operations in the past, they will continue to deploy in a step-by-step manner. First, they will provide rider-only trips to their employees on freeways across Phoenix.

Waymo have years of safe and proven experience operating fleets of rider-only vehicles on public roads across California and Arizona, and millions of miles of experience operating autonomous class 8 trucks and cars on freeways with a specialist present. They have incrementally ramped up the testing on freeways with passenger vehicles over the past year. This is part of the focus on scaling ride-hailing. Now, as prepared to take the next step of removing the autonomous specialist from the operations, they are following the same processes outlined by safety framework that helped them responsibly launch and expand the world’s first fully autonomous ride hailing service over three years ago.

Before expanding, they ensure that they have a comprehensive understanding of the environment they plan to operate. They also assess the system’s capabilities. Waymo’s years of experience driving cars and trucks on freeways have taught them to navigate everyday scenarios autonomously. This knowledge also informs their approach to responding to rare events safely. They also continuously iterate and improve the technology and operations through a rigorous process. This process combines structured testing, simulation, and public road operations to ensure it is prepared for this next phase.

As they gradually ramp up their operations, Waymo employees will have the opportunity to hail rider-only trips on freeways across Phoenix. Waymonauts will provide invaluable feedback about the service and rider experience during freeway trips before they welcome Waymo One riders.

Taking a freeway instead of a surface street in Phoenix can significantly improve a rider’s experience. For example, a trip from Sky Harbor Airport to the northern parts of Scottsdale can be 50% faster by taking AZ-101 compared to city streets. This illustrates the efficiency of using AZ-101 for quicker travel in this specific route. The ability to utilize freeways will be especially important as it is scale the operations to other cities. For this reason, they are laser focused on our freeway ride hailing testing.

With Waymo One, they are already helping tens of thousands of riders safely and delightfully get where they’re going. This service is available in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. They also appreciate their enthusiasm, and work hard everyday to earn their trust. To hail a ride with the Waymo Driver, download the Waymo One App today.

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