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Next stop for Waymo’s robotaxis will be Austin, Texas

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Waymo One

Waymo has recently revealed that Austin, Texas is set to become the latest addition to its expanding roster of U.S. cities offering the Waymo One robotaxi service. For the past several months, the streets of Austin have been the grounds for testing the service, and the first public rides are anticipated to begin around year’s end, according to the company’s statement, which is owned by Alphabet.

Operating 24/7, the service will be available for travel to favored locations in Austin including downtown, Barton Hills, Riverside, East Austin, Hyde Park, among other places.

Currently, the Waymo One service is also available in cities such as Phoenix, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. However, the Phoenix operation is the only one accessible to the general public without any limitations. In San Francisco, some rides are reserved for selected riders who have agreed to nondisclosure terms, while in Los Angeles, the service is exclusively open to Waymo staff.

Waymo’s method of ensuring a reliable and safe service involves a structured process that begins with human-controlled testing and mapping. This initial stage is followed by testing with Waymo’s self-driving system, called Waymo Driver, with a safety driver at the helm. Gradually, testing is performed without a safety driver, leading up to a public service, initially for selected riders and eventually expanding to the broader population.

The vehicles used in the robotaxi prototypes are Jaguar I-Pace electric crossovers and Chrysler Pacifica minivans, with plans in place to transition to a specific robotaxi designed by Geely’s Zeekr EV brand, although a specific timetable has not been disclosed.

This announcement was made only a month after Waymo declared a temporary halt on the development of its self-driving service within the trucking sector, redirecting focus towards Waymo One. Nevertheless, collaborations are ongoing with partners such as Daimler Truck North America to continue advancing autonomous truck technology.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Waymo One

What city has Waymo recently added to its robotaxi service, Waymo One?

Austin, Texas has been recently added to Waymo’s expanding list of U.S. cities for its Waymo One robotaxi service.

When are the first public rides in Austin expected to take place?

The first public rides in Austin are expected to take place around the end of the year.

In which other cities does Waymo offer its Waymo One service?

Waymo One is also available in Phoenix, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, with varying levels of public accessibility.

What vehicles does Waymo currently use for its robotaxi prototypes?

Waymo currently relies on Jaguar I-Pace electric crossovers and Chrysler Pacifica minivans for its robotaxi prototypes.

Is Waymo still working on self-driving technologies for the trucking industry?

Yes, despite slowing down the development of its self-driving service for the trucking industry, Waymo continues to work with partners like Daimler Truck North America on self-driving truck technologies.

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