Waymo announced that it has unveiled its autonomous ride-hailing service, Waymo One, in Phoenix, Arizona. The service will be first offered to hundreds of early riders who have already been using the company’s technology in the pilot phase.
Almost 10 years ago, Waymo was founded as the Google self-driving car project with the aim of using fully self-driving technology to make roads safer. Since the, the company has been focused on building one most experienced self-driving technologies available today.
In April 2017, Waymo first invited members of the public to ride in their cars through an early rider program. This group has been giving feedback and working directly with the company’s product and research teams. The group’s feedback along the way has helped refine the technology and design features that meet customer’s needs. Based on comments received, Waymo has worked on ways to streamline pickups, made it easy to contact support for questions, and began operating their service at at all times of the day.
Over time, Waymo One will be available to even more members of the public as the company works towards adding vehicles and drive in more places. Since self-driving technology is new to most people, the company is proceeding cautiously with the comfort and convenience of riders in mind. At first, Waymo-trained drivers will supervise Waymo One vehicles.
Waymo’s early rider program will continue as a way for a select group to give the company ongoing insights. They’ll help test early features before those new capabilities graduate to Waymo One. For example, the Waymo has already started offering fully driverless rides to some early riders.