Don't expect to hail one if you visit Phoenix and need a hotel. It's not a public service program. The Phoenix trips are taking passengers who had signed up as part of an early rider program. They were all in all offered to about a few hundred people. The riders who signed up also signed nondisclosure agreements.
Waymo is Alphabet's self-driving car service. While readers may already have heard of it enough times, the remarks by its CEO John Krafcik who spoke at the IAA Frankfurt auto show back in September, were refreshing.
"First, we are not Google. And, we are not a car company. We're also not a self-driving car company.
"Rather, we are a technology company, building the world's most experienced driver: The Waymo Driver. Our mission is to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around the world.
"We've been testing at small scale in fully driverless mode since 2017—with no trained human driver behind the wheel. And we've begun to responsibly ramp up our driverless offerings to riders in the Metro Phoenix area."
One could easily imagine their thinking about the laid-back traveler liking the idea of not having to be behind the wheel but Waymo is thinking of broader audiences. Krafcik said that the freedom that comes with a driver's license isn't always a possibility. Even some who do not see driving as a hassle but as an enjoyable activity in command of the road cannot always get what they want. "In many developed countries, more than 20% of adults are unable to drive due to vision impairment or other disabilities."
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