Google’s autonomous vehicle (AV) division, Waymo, has been working on a robotaxi for years.
Last week, it opened up its Waymo One service to the public. With a click of a button, you can now relive your childhood soccer weekends by cruising in a driverless Chrysler Pacific minivan.
There are a few catches, though: someone will remotely monitor the vehicle and you have to be in a 50-square-mile “riders only” service area located in Phoenix.
Arizona is the home for self-driving cars
In 2015, Governor Doug Ducey — the former CEO of post-soccer practice favorite Cold Stone Creamery — signed an executive order supporting AV testing in the state.
Waymo has been in Arizona since 2016 and debuted its 1st public driverless minivan joyrides in November 2019.
The entire driverless fleet in Phoenix numbers between 300 and 400 vehicles, but Waymo will continue to expand capacity and geographic coverage.
Autonomous ride hailing is a massive opportunity
Ark Invest’s Tasha Keeney highlighted 2 points in light of Waymo’s news:
- Future cash flows from the industry are worth $1T+
- Fully realized AVs will cost $0.25 per mile, half the cost of personal driving
As for how Waymo fits into the competitive landscape, Elon Musk left some thoughts on Keeney’s tweets: “Waymo is impressive, but a highly specialized solution. The Tesla approach is a general solution.”
We can’t speak to the veracity of his statement, but we can confirm that A+ corporate shade like this is exactly why Musk believes Tesla no longer needs a PR team LOL.
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