Friday, July 12, 2024

Waymo to launch autonomous taxi service in Los Angeles

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Waymo announced the expansion of robotaxi to residents in several central districts of Los Angeles, according to a post on the company’s website. Waymo had previously expanded outside of Arizona to San Francisco earlier this year.

The company has charted roads in many LA neighborhoods since 2019, including Downtown and Miracle Mile, Koreatown, Santa Monica, Westwood, and West Hollywood.

The initial launch will see a dozen Waymo vehicles roam the streets of LA. The company plans to expand their fleet from there to take advantage of what it calls “one of the world’s largest ride-hailing service areas and the world’s third largest. United States of America.”

The company will test their self-driving technology in complex LA traffic.

“When we think about our next cities, Los Angeles jumps out. LA is a remarkable, vibrant place – and Waymo’s experience leaves us best positioned to tackle its driving complexity,” said Waymo’s co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana.

Waymo services in LA will use a human safety driver behind the wheel to take control of the vehicle if needed.

The service will only be available to employees initially as the company wants to test their software on the streets of LA. After that the service will expand to the general public after the company is confident in its capabilities.

Waymo must obtain a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to operate without a safe driver behind the wheel.

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