Waymo to Offer Driverless Taxis in San Francisco
Waymo recently launched a round-the-clock driverless passenger transport service in San Francisco. The launch of the service was presented after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) permitted Waymo to participate in the Driverless Pilot program for autonomous passenger transport services. Therefore, Waymo can deliver such services in San Francisco, as well as in parts of other cities like Daly City, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale.
The vehicles will have a maximum speed of 65 mph (around 105 kph), as they will only be operating on public roads with that speed limit. It is expected that in the future, such projects will increase the confidence of the public in autonomous vehicles. The company spent months in the test phase of the vehicle and conducted over 20,000 trips. However, Waymo can not make a profit from driverless rides. With this project, the public is able to test the safety of autonomous vehicles, apart from other benefits of them, like their environmental impact. The possibility to experience a test drive is via the Waymo One app.
As said by CPUC Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma, “We are seeing momentum build in this space and are working to assure the safe expansion of the driverless pilot program”.
The company will be the second participator in the CPUC program, as General Motors’s subsidiary, Cruise, was also granted permission for delivering such services in June 2023. However, Waymo vehicles have been involved in numerous accidents in San Francisco during this year, while other companies such as Cruise even had to recall software in 80 vehicles after an accident in 2022. Waymo is an autonomous driving technology company and is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. It has already over 10 years of experience in developing autonomous driving technology. Previously, Waymo was known as the Google self-driving car project.