Waymo is expanding its service independent taxis, called Waymo One. It provides an Android app directly from Google Play. The service was launched in December 2018. It already had apps for Android and iOS. But it was only available for download via the link. And to people who signed up through the company’s website and were approved for the initial program.
Now any Phoenix resident in Arizona will be able to sign up directly for the Google Play-downloaded app. And they can enter a queue system, waiting for their approval for the initial program and then their entry into the public program.
How Waymo One Works
Customers will be added to a waiting queue. This includes the Android phone owners who have already installed the app and made their application. Once approved, they will already be part of the initial program. This means that they can start using the app to request the Waymo One standalone taxicabs. At this stage, customers must sign a contract that prohibits them from taking guests. Also, from disclosing information about the service.
Subsequently, the users of the initial program will be migrated to the public program. From there they can take guests, register photos and videos. And they can openly tell their experiences to the media and others.
The company has been testing autonomous vehicles for three years
Waymo began testing standalone minivans in Phoenix in the year 2016. In April 2017, it launched the first initial racing program. It had more than 400 participants.
In the current program, Waymo One, the vehicle has a human operator in the front seat. Just for safety reasons. Along with a screen showing the route and buttons to trigger the customer service or force the car to park.
At the moment, Waymo has a public transportation service that takes passengers to bus stops, train and subway stations (Phoenix only).