Google spinoff Waymo has started testing fully autonomous operations in San Francisco. The firm’s San Francisco employees will join the thousands of Waymo One riders the self-driving firm has been serving in Arizona.
“We’re particularly excited about this next phase of our journey as we officially bring our rider-only technology to San Francisco—the city many of us at Waymo call home. We’ve learned so much from our San Francisco trusted testers over the last six months, not to mention the innumerable lessons from our riders in the years since launching our fully autonomous service in the East Valley of Phoenix. Both of which have directly impacted how we bring forward our service as we welcome our first employee riders in SF,”said co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana.
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Earlier, Waymo has deployed the technology in the East Valley of Phoenix, beginning first with the Early Rider Program (now Trusted Tester) in 2017, then introducing fully autonomous public rides in 2020.
“Building a safe, robust, and generalizable autonomous driver—the Waymo Driver—whose capabilities and performance transfer well between geographies and product lines is our main focus,” said Dmitri Dolgov, Waymo co-CEO. “Just as our previous experience allowed us to deploy our 5th-gen Driver in San Francisco quickly and with confidence, the combination of our experience in San Francisco and Phoenix’s East Valley, grounded in millions of miles of real-world driving and boosted by billions of miles driven in simulation, is already guiding our progress in Downtown Phoenix and sets us up for future expansion of our fully autonomous ride-hailing service.”