Waymo to Offer Autonomous Cars for Hire in Phoenix
Waymo has logged millions of autonomous miles on public roads, and now it’s ready to bring its self-driving cars to the public. The company is accepting applications for its “early rider” program, which allows residents in the Phoenix area to hire self-driving cars for their daily transportation needs.
Hundreds of people will get the chance to use Waymo’s self-driving cars on a daily basis, and in exchange for the free rides, they will provide feedback on the experience. Waymo says it anticipates the trial will help it better understand where riders want to go, how they communicate with self-driving cars, and what information and controls they’d like to see in the vehicles.
“Rather than offering people one or two rides, the goal of this program is to give participants access to our fleet every day, at any time, to go anywhere within an area that’s about twice the size of San Francisco,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik wrote in a recent blog post on Medium. Riders will travel in Waymo’s Lexus RX450h and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid autonomous vehicles in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Head over to Waymo’s website if you’re interested in taking part.
To accelerate the rollout of autonomous vehicles, Waymo also announced it will add 500 Pacifica Hybrids to its fleet. These vehicles, which will be modified to support self-driving technology, will join the initial batch of 100 Pacifica Hybrids that entered Waymo’s fleet during the second half of last year. Production of the additional minivans will ramp up next month.