Waymo Wins Approval to Launch Self-Driving Service in Arizona

Waymo has obtained approval from the state of Arizona to launch a ride-hailing service using its fleet of self-driving cars.

Using the state's department of transportation as its source, Google's self-driving unit was approved in Arizona on January 24, applying 12 days earlier for a TNC permit.

That permit will enable them to launch the commercial, on-demand ride-hailing service. No word yet on what the logistics will be, as well as costs, launch cities, and timeline.

"As we continue to test drive our fleet of vehicles in greater Phoenix, we're taking all the steps necessary to launch our commercial service this year," said a Waymo spokesman in a statement.

Over the past nine years, Waymo as been working on developing its fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans, equipped with its suite of sensors, LiDAR, and radar technology, with ongoing testing in California, Michigan, and Arizona.

Last year, the ride-hailing prospect touted several accomplishments, including the testing of more than 20,000 driving scenarios on test tracks, advanced machine learning, and approximately 2 million miles driven over 22 months. Of these miles, roughly 350,000 were made in Calif. alone through Nov. 2017.

In 2017, Waymo also launched a free "early rider program" which let a select group of Arizona-based residents test its smartphone app to hail a car within a 100-square-mile radius area.


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