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Waymo announced that it is expanding its service area in both San Francisco and Phoenix. The company also announced that it is now giving fully autonomous, rider-only rides between Downtown Phoenix and the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Riders can hail a Waymo robotaxi at the 44th Street and Washington PHX Sky Train Station in Downtown Phoenix at any time of day. Waymo previously announced the service in November, but at the time rides would include an autonomous specialist in the driver’s seat.
In Downtown Phoenix, Waymo more than doubled its rider-only service area. The company began offering rider-only rides to Trusted Testers in Downtown Phoenix in August.
In San Francisco, Waymo can now offer fully autonomous rides in a large portion of the city, including every neighborhood along the 17-mile Crosstown Trail. Waymo has been offering rides in the city since August 2021, and began offering fully autonomous rides in March 2022.
“Our progress in two of the most popular ride-hailing cities in the country is accelerating,” Saswat Panigrahi, Chief Product Officer at Waymo, said. “As we add more neighborhoods and vehicles to our service in San Francisco and Phoenix, we’re excited to bring the safety and mobility benefits of round-the-clock autonomy to more people in more places.”
Waymo began as Google’s self-driving car project in 2009. It has more than 700 vehicles in its fleet, which is made up of a mix of Jaguar I-PACE EVs, Chrysler Pacific Hybrid minivans and Class 8 trucks.
The company faces competition in San Francisco from Cruise, the self-driving unit of GM. Cruise announced today that it would be expanding its service area in the city to cover most of San Francisco.
However, just days ago, NHTSA announced that it is opening an investigation into the autonomous driving system powering Cruise’s robotaxis. In a filing, NHSTA said it was interested in two different issues that had been reported to the administration that both result in the robotaxis becoming hazards for others on the road.