Google’s driverless car division Waymo is opening up its driverless car taxi service to customers across the American city of Phoenix.
It’s three years since selected people were able to try out the driverless service in the city, thanks to the company’s investment in high definition maps which allowed the vehicles to navigate journeys in a way which would still be too difficult elsewhere.
These selected people were under a Non Disclosure Agreement, but Waymo now says members of the public service can now take friends and family along on their rides and “share their experience with the world”.
“We’ll start with those who are already a part of Waymo One and, over the next several weeks, welcome more people directly into the service through our app,” the company says in a statement. “In the near term, 100% of our rides will be fully driverless. We expect our new fully driverless service to be very popular, and we’re thankful to our riders for their patience as we ramp up availability to serve demand. Later this year, after we’ve finished adding in-vehicle barriers between the front row and the rear passenger cabin for in-vehicle hygiene and safety, we’ll also be re-introducing rides with a trained vehicle operator, which will add capacity and allow us to serve a larger geographical area.”