Waymo Removes Waitlist And Opens Robotaxi Service to Everyone in San Francisco

Waymo has officially removed the waitlist for its robotaxi service in San Francisco, making it possible for anyone to download the Waymo One app and immediately hail a ride in one of its autonomous vehicles.

Since its initial launch in San Francisco in 2009, Waymo has steadily expanded its operations. Last year, the company began charging customers for rides throughout the city at any time of the day. With nearly 300,000 people having signed up for the service, and having driven over 3.8 million miles (6.1M km) without a safety driver, Waymo’s decision to eliminate the waitlist signals confidence in its technology and service model.

The service is available 24/7, offering convenience comparable to traditional ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, with pricing that varies based on demand and location.

Waymo’s service has been well-received in San Francisco, providing tens of thousands of rides weekly, similar to its numbers in Phoenix. Notably, more than half of the rides in San Francisco are for medical appointments, while about 36% are used to connect with other forms of public transit like BART or Muni.

The current fleet in San Francisco comprises 300 robotaxis, part of a larger group of over 700 vehicles operating in various cities, including Phoenix, Los Angeles, and test locations such as Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas.

This move to remove the waitlist and open the service to everyone replicates the strategy used by Waymo in Phoenix, where the first fully driverless taxi service was launched. This development comes just a few weeks after a software recall of all 672 Jaguar I-Pace robotaxis due to an incident involving one of the vehicles colliding with a telephone pole.

In addition to expanding in San Francisco, Waymo has also secured approval to operate a commercial robotaxi service in Los Angeles and on San Francisco freeways. Although these expansions are still in the testing phase, they represent significant milestones in Waymo’s broader strategy to establish a dominant presence in the autonomous vehicle market.

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