Waymo CEO John Krafcik spoke today at the WSJ D. Live Tech conference in Laguna Beach, where he said that the company is planning to launch a paid driverless taxi service in the coming months.
The company launched an early-rider program a few years ago in Phoenix and has spent this time driving millions of miles to collect data that can help them better develop this technology. Currently, about 400 riders are in the early access program and they can be taken anywhere in a 100 square mile area.
The service will charge customers for rides, as well as businesses that want to shuttle their customers to and from their stores. The driverless taxi service is expected to launch in Phoenix, Arizona, where the company is already operating its early-rider program. Some vehicles at the beginning will have backup drivers that can take control if its absolutely necessary.
As for pricing, we don’t have any exact details, but it will reportedly be competitive with Uber and Lyft. Waymo is sure to expand this program across other large cities in the US, and hopefully one day it will make its way abroad as well.
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