Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc.’s autonomous drive division startup, Waymo, launched an autonomous minivan pilot service in Phoenix, Arizona.
“From today, residents of the Phoenix area will have the opportunity to ride the Waymo autonomous minivan for free,” said The Verge. This is the first time that Waymo, which was sprayed from the Alphabet last year, is carrying out the actual autonomous driving service.
“Those who want to experience the ‘initial rider program’, an autonomous driving minivan without a driver, will be able to register through the website and receive service opportunities after the audit,” Waymo announced on its official blog.
“Although the driver will sit on the steering wheel of this vehicle, the vehicle will be driven entirely by autonomous driving without driver intervention,” Weymo added.
“Waymo has already ordered more than 500 Pacifica minivans from their partner Chrysler to provide more services,” said The Verge. “Waymo has already built up its experience by carrying out autonomous driving through 100 minivans from the beginning of this year in Mountain View, California, and Pheonix, Arizona. However, this is the first time that people actually ride the pilot operation.
“We want as many people as possible to experience our technology,” said John Krafcik, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Waymo Inc. “We plan to expand this pilot service to more locations.”
Waymo’s rival, Uber, has already launched a self-driving vehicle pilot service in Pittsburgh last September and has expanded the service area to Tempe, Arizona.
“Uber, who has been working on the pilot project without hesitation, had several errors, such as an accidental overturning of a self-propelled vehicle a few weeks ago,” The Verge said. “On the other hands, Waymo will open the service to the general public after accumulating enough experience with their engineers and employees and earning satisfactory results.”