Waymo Restarts Robotaxi Service Without Human Safety Drivers
Waymo, Google’s robotaxi service, is resuming operations without drivers for the first time since its launch. Autonomous rides will be provided within a 50 square mile area near Chandler, Arizona, where the company primarily operates. The robot minivans will now be dispatched with no backup human safety driver, marking a huge step in the field of autonomous vehicles. Consumers can use the Waymo One app to arrange a ride to the desired destination within Chandler and enjoy a contactless ride amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rides in other parts of the city with human safety drivers are set to resume in a few weeks following Waymo’s shutdown of services due to the COVID-19 health crisis. A number of Waymo’s 400-car fleet will be dispatched to the driverless program, which will likely act as a model for competitors seeking to offer similar services. A Waymo spokesperson expressed worries that demands for the service will outweigh the supply.