After months of extensive testing and development, Waymo is officially launching the USA’s first commercial self-riding vehicles. The Waymo One program will give customers rides in self-driving vehicles 24 hours a day. Currently, the Waymo’s technology still relies on human support to avoid serious collisions and injuries. Also, the company is offering the commercial Uber-like ride-share service to only a number of customers who were in the test runs. This extra carefulness can be well understood, as there have been some instances where Waymo’s cars were involved in accidents.
Initially, the service is going to be offered in the Phoenix area, including Tempe, Mesa, and Chandler cities. The company also plans to test its commercial autonomous vehicle riding services in California around the next year. However, the full commercial launch will not be around for a while because of some hurdles in the California state’s regulations (Senate’s still-in-progress AV START Act).
Alphabet’s Waymo One may be the first one to start the emerging race to compete with companies like Uber and Lyft in autonomous ride-share services. General Motors subsidiary Cruise plans to launch a similar service using self-driving vehicles next year.