By CRM staff

Toronto, Ontario -- December 7, 2018 -- Autonomous vehicles are slowly making their way onto the roads. Although, many experts have speculated that we won’t be seeing these vehicles in the hands of consumers for another decade or so. But, that doesn’t mean to say that there hasn’t been any progress on speeding up this reality.

Uber has done it, and General Motors is currently working on it but, now Google’s Waymo has come out with their very own robo-taxi service this week. Waymo, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet has released their self-driving taxi service for certain individuals in the Phoenix area to test out. 

Similar to Uber, the user downloads the Waymo One app and enters their location and end destination. The vehicle then comes to pick up the customer and enjoys the ride. For the testing stages right now, there is a Waymo employee sitting in the driver seat to ensure that if anything does go wrong there is someone there to take the wheel. 

“Self-driving technology is new to many, so we’re proceeding carefully with the comfort and convenience of our riders in mind,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik wrote in Wednesday blog post heralding the arrival of the new service.

The Verge was able to take a spin in the taxi’s in which they had commented about the interior of the vans. “The screen on the back of the driver’s headrest features a large blue ‘start’ button that I could press to initiate the ride. (There’s also a physical button in the headliner of the vehicle that performs the same task.) After pressing the button, a musical chime sounds and a robotic-sounding woman’s voice says, “Here we go.”

Waymo says they have plans to open up their services to everyone in the Phoenix area but haven’t really said when. They also want to expand their service to other cities but it’s unknown as to where. Although, when this does happen it could pose a threat to other services such as Uber, and Lyft. 

 

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