The ultimate joy ride for luxury vehicle enthusiasts

Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, has been working hard to push its automotive company Waymo to the forefront of the autonomous driving sector. Self-driving capability is among the hottest trends in the technology and automotive industries. After endless testing and mapping with drivers at the helm, Waymo is ready to test its self-driving cars on public roads in Phoenix, Arizona, without a driver at the wheel. In fact, the company will be launching a service that is being referred to as “robotaxis,” where members of the public will be able to use a ride-hailing app to request a pickup by one of the self-driving minivans.

How It Works

Waymo is using Phoenix as the first city due to its dry and predictable climate, as developers are still struggling to solve problems that are occurring in rainy and snowy weather. The initial self-driving experience will include a Waymo employee that will accompany the public passengers. Obviously, the goal is to allow passengers to travel safely without having to be accompanied by a professional, but until then, it’s better to be safe than sorry if you’re Alphabet Inc.

The Future

The self-driving service will initially be free for passengers until all the kinks are worked out and the general public begin to accept driverless vehicles. Arizona does not have any restrictions regarding self-driving cars, unlike California and some other U.S. states. As the market for autonomous vehicles continues to grow, more and more companies are beginning to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, AutoNation Inc. announced a multiyear partnership with Waymo last week, in which it will perform any vehicle maintenance and repairs for the self-driving car operations. Automotive powerhouse General Motors Co. has hinted that its recently acquired self-driving startup Cruise Automation will begin testing a “robotaxi” service sometime in the near future. It appears that the driverless era is upon us. Are you ready?