Waymo to Begin Trial of Robotaxis on Phoenix Highways

Waymo is about to start testing its driverless passenger vehicles on the highway later this month, a critical milestone for the company that, if successful, will unlock expanded commercial operations. Bringing its autonomous cars to the highway is just the latest in a series of big steps for Waymo, especially in the Phoenix area. Just a few months before that, Waymo made its autonomous vehicles available in the Uber app. The GM autonomous vehicle subsidiary recently slashed a quarter of its staff and pushed out a number of executives after a crash in October where one of its robotaxis dragged a pedestrian. Last year, the company backed away from its autonomous trucking effort in order to focus more on ride-hailing.

Waymo, the self-driving technology company, is entering a critical phase in its journey towards expanded commercial operations. This month, the company is set to begin testing its driverless passenger vehicles on the highway, a significant milestone that could potentially pave the way for autonomous transportation for regular customers.

In a recent announcement, Waymo revealed that their fleet of autonomous Jaguar I-Pace SUVs will hit the freeways in Phoenix, Arizona, shuttling employees around as part of the initial testing phase. While the vehicles have been tested with trained operators behind the wheel for the past year, this marks the first time they will operate without any human intervention. The company plans to eventually expand its driverless highway service to the general public, although a specific timeline has not been given.

Waymo has been making significant strides in the self-driving industry, particularly in Phoenix. Last year, the company launched a curbside dropoff and pickup service at the Phoenix airport. And just a few months ago, Waymo made its autonomous vehicles available through the popular Uber app.

Meanwhile, Waymo’s competitors have struggled to keep up. Cruise, the autonomous vehicle subsidiary of GM, has faced setbacks with a recent staff reduction and a high-profile accident involving one of its vehicles hitting a pedestrian last October.

However, Waymo’s progress has not been without its challenges. Last year, the company shifted its focus away from its autonomous trucking project and towards ride-hailing services. This decision came after extensive testing in Arizona, which has provided valuable insights for the launch of their passenger vehicle program on highways.

Avatar photo
Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

Articles: 585

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *