Waymo Launches Robotaxi Service in Los Angeles, Plans Launch in Austin Later This Year

Waymo has announced it is expanding its robotaxi service to Los Angeles, California, starting today, and Austin, Texas, later this year.

In Los Angeles, the launch is set to start today, allowing those on the company’s waitlist to take fully autonomous taxi rides, following a successful four-month pilot program. The service navigated the bustling streets of select neighborhoods including Santa Monica, Century City, and downtown Los Angeles, offering over 15,000 fully autonomous journeys during that time in an electric Jaguar I-PACE.

ALSO READ: California Approves Waymo’s Expansion in LA and San Francisco

The pilot’s success has paved the way for this broader rollout across a 63-square-mile area.

Credit: Waymo

Waymo has also ventured into Austin, with the company having started giving rides to employees last week. This initial phase targets a 43-square-mile area encompassing key neighborhoods such as downtown and East Austin.

The general public in Austin can anticipate the launch of this service later in the year, further solidifying Waymo’s footprint in the realm of autonomous transportation.

The expansion in Los Angeles and Austin builds upon Waymo’s existing operations in Phoenix and San Francisco. Tekedra Mawakana, Co-CEO of Waymo, expressed excitement at the SXSW conference this week, highlighting the company’s milestones and the journey towards making autonomous driving a routine mode of transportation for thousands every week.

“Once an unimaginable future, autonomous driving is now a real-world way of getting around for tens of thousands of people each week. After achieving key milestones in each city, we’re so excited to bring the safety, comfort and delight of our Waymo One service to more people in Los Angeles and Austin this year.”

Waymo Co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana

With over 10 million miles driven and more than 1 million trips conducted, Waymo is preparing to transition from free to paid services in Los Angeles, and aims to enlist 50,000 riders from its waitlist to enjoy fully autonomous rides.

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