Autonomous taxis in the near future
Waymo’s fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan. © Waymo.
Waymo, Google/Alphabet’s self-driving car division, is set to launch “a commercial ride-sharing service powered by self-driving vehicles with no human ‘safety’ drivers as soon as this fall.” Anonymous sources have mentioned the pressure Alphabet CEO Larry Page put on Waymo to speed the conversion of the new technology to a commercial product. Service will start in Phoenix, Arizona, the city where Waymo has already performed large-scale testing. Arizona is the state with some of the most permissive highway regulations; besides, Phoenix’s mild climate and wide, straight streets with few pedestrians or pitfalls, make it the ideal site to implement driverless cars.
⇨ Ars Technica, “Fully driverless cars could be months away.”