Home Public Transportation Waymo Announces Launch Plans for Autonomous Ride-Hailing Services in Los Angeles and Austin

Waymo Announces Launch Plans for Autonomous Ride-Hailing Services in Los Angeles and Austin

by IAV Staff
Waymo vehicle waiting at a railroad crossing in Austin, Texas. Image: Waymo.

Waymo is set to offer its fully autonomous ride-hailing service, Waymo One, to the public in Los Angeles and Austin within the year. The announcement was made by Waymo co-CEO, Tekedra Mawakana, at SXSW in Austin, Texas, marking a significant leap towards making autonomous driving a daily reality for many.

Starting March 14, Waymo One will begin serving select members of the public in Los Angeles, with plans to extend the service to Austin later in the year following recent rider-only testing. This expansion underscores the rapid advancement and acceptance of autonomous driving technology, once considered a futuristic concept, now becoming an integral part of urban transportation.

In Los Angeles, Waymo One’s initial operations will cover a 63 square mile area stretching from Santa Monica to Downtown LA. The service will initially be free, transitioning to a paid model shortly after, following approval from the California Public Utilities Commission. With over 50,000 people on the LA waitlist, Waymo plans to integrate riders gradually, offering a glimpse into the future of transportation that prioritizes safety, comfort, and efficiency. Over the past five months, Angelenos have taken more than 15,000 autonomous rides across the city, awarding an average trip rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, indicating high satisfaction with the service.

Austin’s foray into autonomous ride-hailing begins with a testing phase across 43 square miles of the city, currently limited to Waymo employees. The area encompasses key neighborhoods and downtown, laying the groundwork for a public launch later in the year. Waymo’s return to Austin, where it previously achieved a significant milestone by giving a fully autonomous public street ride, demonstrates its commitment to expanding service based on rigorous safety standards and community engagement.Waymo’s vehicles have amassed over 10 million miles of real-world driving without a human driver and billions more in simulation, offering an unmatched dataset of safe driving experiences. This extensive preparation positions Waymo to safely introduce the many benefits of fully autonomous driving to a wider audience

You may also like