Amid self-driving tech turmoil, Waymo is increasing the number of Robotaxi rides to the Phoenix Airport

Share This Post

Waymo employees have already been using their robot cabs to get to the airport, and expanding access to a portion of the public should help improve the service “before we roll it out more broadly,” the company said.

The Mountain View, California-based company announced that starting today, it will offer 24/7 electric Jaguar I-PACE SUVs in its Phoenix fleet to “trusted testers,” a limited group of drivers registered in its network. Rides will be offered between downtown Phoenix and Sky Harbor International Airport, and Waymo is also working with the airport to shuttle passengers to the 44th Street light rail station, about 2 miles away. Human security drivers will be at the wheel for the service’s launch, but they will be removed “in the coming weeks,” the company said in a blog post.

The expanded airport service in Phoenix comes after Waymo announced last month that it is also preparing to launch its autonomous driving service in Los Angeles and is beginning to serve passengers in San Francisco. Waymo has offered fully autonomous driving in the Phoenix suburbs since 2020, without a human behind the wheel, and is focused on expanding commercial operations in that sprawling city.

Waymo’s gradual expansion comes at a time when the outlook for self-driving companies is getting tougher and the pursuit of fully automated vehicles without humans behind the wheel is becoming an increasingly costly, long-term challenge. On Monday, TuSimple, a Waymo competitor in autonomous driving, fired Xiaodi Hou, the company’s co-founder, CEO, chairman and architect of technology. This came after news reports that Hou was under investigation for his role in improperly funding and transferring technology to a Chinese startup. Hou denies doing anything improper, and TuSimple said the move was not due to media coverage.

Last week, Ford and Volkswagen said they would stop funding Argo AI, a promising autonomous technology company, after determining that it would take too many years for that investment to pay off.

Waymo’s main competitors in the robotaxi space include Cruise, which is backed by General Motors and operates a limited service in San Francisco; Amazon’s Zoox; and Motional, an autonomous technology startup backed by Hyundai.

Related Posts

Devils defeat Sabers 3-1 to take their unbeaten road record to nine games

Scores from Jack Hughes, Jesper Bochvist and Thomas Tatar...

Crazy feature of the new Samsung monitor

You still haven’t seen anything when you believe you’ve...

Wynn Resorts Macau receives renewal of its gaming concession

Wynn and Encore Las Vegas have two opulent hotel...

First look at Netflix inspired ‘Witcher 3’ DLC

Nintendo Switch users who own The Witcher 3: Wild...

Blocks by Kevin Owens The Edge of Sami Zayn and The Bloodline from WWE war games

The Bloodline’s Usos, Solo Sikoa, and Sami Zayn faced...

For Black Friday, low cost games from HP Laptop It drops below $500

Our list of the greatest gaming laptops under $1,000...