Los Angeles: Waymo launches ‘milestone’ paid robotaxi service

Waymo yesterday launched its paid robotaxi service in Los Angeles. The company announced details for its service in Los Angeles in January as it sought state regulatory approval and local support. Within the last year, Waymo has offered free “tour” rides in Los Angeles, and last month, it received regulatory approval to expand to a paid service, despite pushback from the Teamsters union and the Los Angeles DoT. Waymo previewed the project in a blog post in 2022, said NBC News.

Waymo annoounced that more than 50,000 people were on its waitlist to use the service. The company did not say how many users it would allow to fully use the app starting on Wednesday. Last month, the company said it was starting with a Los Angeles fleet of 50 cars covering a 63-square-mile area from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles.

Chris Ludwick, Waymo’s product management director, called the Los Angeles move a milestone. “The reception from Angelenos so far has been exceptional, and we look forward to welcoming more riders into our service over time.”

The news comes shortly after Cruise announced its autonomous testing was on the verge of restarting after the highly publicised issues late last year, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk added that his company was launching a similar service later this year.


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