Waymo Launches Commercial Autonomous Vehicle Service

Waymo, Google’s self-driving car affiliate, said its launching its first commercial autonomous-car service in the next two months.  Waymo says the new service charges passengers for rides and businesses will pay to shuttle customers to their stores.  The service will be available to small groups in roughly a 100 square mile area in Phoenix to start, but the plan is to expand to more people in the coming months.

In it’s “early rider program,” Waymo has been operating a self-driving ride-hailing pilot for select residents in Chandler, Arizona for a number of months.  The company plans to expand the driverless vehicles to a range of 600 square miles.

Last December, Waymo was spun out for Google.  The company was forced to explore several business plans to commercialize its self-driving technology, including ride sharing, trucking and logistics, public transportation, and licensing agreements with automakers.  Waymo runs 100 Chrysler Pacificas with its self-driving technology as they have a partnership with Fiat.  They plan to also expand with 500 electric Jaguars.