Google's autonomous car company, Waymo, recently achieved a major milestone when they began their own ride-hailing service in Arizona that is entirely run by self-driving taxis. However there are some restrictions to their service.
The service, dubbed Waymo One, will ferry a group of riders that have participated in the company’s autonomous vehicle pilot program since 2017 around a roughly 100-square-mile zone across four cities in the Phoenix area—Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, and Gilbert. The catch is that, now, they’ll be paying fares. And as Waymo describes it, the service works a lot like Uber and Lyft.
Riders download an app, provide a credit card number, and plug in a destination. Images of the app, published by Waymo on Wednesday, show a setup that’ll be familiar to users of the other, better-known taxi startups.
“Riders will see price estimates before they accept the trip based on factors like the time and distance to their destination,” Waymo wrote in a blog post.
While generating revenue through the deployment of autonomous taxis is indeed a milestone for the company, the service won’t include Waymo’s autonomous, completely driverless Chrysler Pacificas that were seen tooling around the Phoenix area previously. At least for now.
“At first, Waymo-trained drivers will supervise our Waymo One vehicles,” Waymo wrote.
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