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Waymo, the autonomous car unit of Google-parent Alphabet, opened its robo-taxi project to the general public in the US city of Phoenix on Thursday, becoming the first widely available driverless ride service.
Now that the project has shifted out of its test phase, anyone signed up through the Waymo One smartphone app can summon autonomous vehicles to travel throughout the Arizona city’s metro area, chief executive John Krafcik said.
“Members of the public service can now take friends and family along on their rides and share their experience with the world,” he added.
“We’ll start with those who are already a part of Waymo One and, over the next several weeks, welcome more people directly into the service through our app.”
The Waymo One app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Waymo started testing a fully driverless ride service in Phoenix some three years ago with
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- Business Insider asked seven venture capitalists to choose the two self-driving startups they believe have the most potential.
- At least one of the VC’s picks had to come from outside their firm’s portfolio.
- Many of their choices reflected the autonomy industry’s increasing focus on trucking and deliveries over ride-hail.
- Aurora Innovation was picked four times, more than any other company.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Self-driving taxis have taken longer to reach widespread adoption than experts predicted during the 2010s. That may be why venture capitalists see potential in autonomous-vehicle startups that are focused on applications, like trucking and mining, that present fewer technological challenges than ride-hailing.
Business Insider asked seven venture capitalists to pick the two autonomous-vehicle startups they believe have the most promise, with the caveat that only one could be a company their firm has invested in. Their selections reflected the industry’s increasing focus on
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Imagine yourself unable to see well enough to drive, and how that would change your life. I witness that scenario every day at home with my wife, who is legally blind, and a very busy person. She reveres Uber and Lyft because they provided her with the still remarkable option to get up and go whenever she wants, wherever she wants. So imagine her excitement a year ago when she was treated to a brief ride in a self-driving Waymo taxi. The safety driver asked my wife to buckle up and hit the “start” button. Yes, exactly! Where is that start button?
We all had a chuckle because the point of the excursion was to talk about Waymo’s commitment to accessibility in the development of self-driving taxis, which are already in service in Phoenix. Waymo is working closely with the Foundation for Blind Children (FBC) in Phoenix to get feedback