Waymo Begins Commercial Robo-Taxi Service in Phoenix

Waymo began offering its robo-taxi service in Phoenix from this week as it hopes to extend its services to other US cities.

Reuters reports that investors have been concerned about the pace of potential roll-out of autonomous technology because of hurdles imposed by tough regulatory scrutiny and delayed commercial adoption of the technology as witnessed by the wind down of Argo AI by its chief investors Ford and Volkswagen. Yet Waymo looks to expand its Waymo One robo-taxi services in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the near future.

The company competes with General Motors’ Cruise, Mobileye and other automakers who have moved to design in-house driving assistance technology. Customers with the Waymo app can hail a ride within Phoenix’s downtown area, the company said on Thursday, after months of test runs. In the run-up to providing this service, Waymo operated trips round the clock in Phoenix’s East Valley region and provided trips to and from the city’s Sky Harbor airport.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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