Waymo Begins Driverless Taxi Tests in Los Angeles
Lindsay Robertson / 27 Feb 2023
Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Alphabet Inc., is launching driverless taxi services in Los Angeles. With th,e launch of its driverless taxi service, Waymo is looking to expand its presence in the ride-hailing market and provide an alternative to traditional taxis and ride-sharing services.
Waymo's driverless taxi service will be provided on a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica minivans that have been retrofitted with the company's self-driving technology. The vehicles will be operated by Waymo employees, who will act as safe drivers. This means that while the vehicles will be driverless, they will still have a human operator present to take over in the event of an emergency. Additionally, Waymo has said that safety drivers will not be allowed to take control of their vehicles unless absolutely necessary.
The driverless taxi service will initially be limited to a specific area of Los Angeles. For now, the service will only be available to select individuals who have signed up for the trial program. Waymo has said that the trial program will allow it to gather data and feedback from users, which will help inform future developments of the service.
Waymo has also said that the driverless taxi service will feature a variety of safety features, including advanced sensors and cameras, as well as an AI system that will monitor the vehicles and alert the safety driver if there is any issue or potential danger.
Waymo's driverless taxi service marks a major milestone for the company and the industry. Waymo is aiming to revolutionize the ride-hailing market and introduce a different option to customary taxis and ride-sharing services with the debut of their service. The trial program will enable the company to acquire data and feedback from users that will serve as the basis for future developments of the service.