Waymo To Launch Uber-Rivaling Autonomous Taxi Service Next Month

Google’s autonomous driving division Waymo will launch the world’s first commercial self-driving taxi service early this December, Bloomberg reports.

According to a source familiar with the company’s plans, Waymo will launch the autonomous taxi service under a new brand, which will compete directly with the likes of Uber and Lyft.

The new brand name is a “closely guarded secret”, according to the same source, at least until the time for the formal presentation.

“Waymo has been working on self-driving technology for nearly a decade, with safety at the core of everything we do,” the company said in a statement.

Google’s autonomous driving brand will probably avoid making a flashy big announcement and instead offer the new service to a limited amount of customers in the Phoenix suburbs, covering an area of around 100 square miles, according to another source.

The first batch of riders will most likely come from Waymo’s Early Rider Program, which includes around 400 volunteer families that have been riding the company’s autonomous test cars for more than a year. Those who will migrate to the new taxi service will be free to openly talk about it and even take friends and members of the media along for the ride.

“This positions Waymo really far ahead of everyone else,” said Nick Albanese, an intelligent mobility analyst at Bloomberg. “GM is the other leader, and they’re probably more than a year away from doing this. It’s very impressive.”

The new self-driving taxi service will come with backup drivers in the car, helping customers get acquainted with the technology and take over if necessary. According to data from Waymo’s test program, a fleet of modified Chrysler Pacifica models will drive on their own for more than 99.9 percent of the time.

more photos...
  • Howfarr

    Crackheads on bikes in the dark be-warned..

If Only BMW Made A Street-Legal, V8-Powered i8 Like This Racer

It looks like an i8, but apart from that, it has absolutely nothing in common with BMW’s hybrid sports car.

Glacier White Metallic Audi A7 Sportback Poses At The Forum

In 55 TFSI quattro spec, the A7 Sportback is capable of hitting 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds.

Nissan Still Weighing Its Options On The R36 GT-R’s Powertrain

The successor to the 12-year old GT-R will either be a hybrid or an all-electric. And that’s a definite maybe…

2020 Porsche Taycan Interior Fully Revealed, Even The Passenger Gets A Touchscreen

The Porsche of the future sure is futuristic.

Chevrolet Details 2020 Bolt, Confirms 259 Mile Range

Despite being able to travel an extra 21 miles, the car will still cost $37,495 before incentives.

Audi Could Team Up With BMW And Mercedes On Autonomous Driving Tech

An announcement could come at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Richard Hammond Celebrates His Mid-Life Crisis With A (….Sponsored) Ford Ranger Raptor

Richard Hammond even shocks his passengers with some off-roading in the Ford Ranger Raptor.

Lamborghini Teases A Mystery Model For Frankfurt, Could Be A Limited Edition Hypercar

The model appears to draw inspiration from the 2017 Terzo Millennio concept.

2020 Chevrolet Bolt To Have Increased Range Of 259 Miles

The model could have an extra 21 miles of range.

Ford Thinks Its Co-Pilot360 Tech Will Silence Backseat Drivers

According to a recent study, 68% of drivers believe backseat driving behavior will go down thanks to semi-autonomous tech.