San Francisco Residents Can Now Hail an Autonomous Ride With Waymo Robotaxi

Waymo invites San Franciscans to test its self-driving vehicles around the city 6 photos
Photo: Waymo
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Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving vehicle subsidiary, has launched a robotaxi service that selected riders can test. The program, called Trusted Testers, will invite residents of San Francisco to hail an autonomous ride in one of Waymo's electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles outfitted with the fifth-generation Waymo Driver.
While this is a first for the City by the Bay, for Waymo it's a familiar step. Over the last four years, the company has been testing its autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix, Arizona, where it accumulated tens of thousands of fully autonomous rides and plenty of feedback from the users.

Moreover, for more than a decade, the company has been testing its new technology in California as well. Recently, Waymo started expanding its testing by offering autonomous rides to its employees in San Francisco.

Now, for the first time, San Franciscans will also be able to hail an autonomous ride. The users will simply hop into one of the company's Jaguar I-PACE vehicles equipped with the fifth-generation Waymo Driver and go just about anywhere they want to go in the initial service area.

For the time being, all rides will be accompanied by an autonomous specialist or human safety operator who will monitor the ride. Trusted Testers users will also be able to provide feedback on their ride experience. In a blog post, the company explained that, at first, it will start with a small number of riders and then will slowly extend the services in the upcoming weeks.

In order to sign up for the Trusted Tester program, San Franciscans will only need to download the Waymo One app. Waymo also announced that it plans to make its ride-hailing service accessible to persons with disabilities. Those in need of a wheelchair-accessible car will be able to hail one directly from the Waymo One app.

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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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