Google Waymo launching paid self-driving car service in Phoenix in 2018 and California likely in 2019

Waymo has been testing self-driving cars without any safety drivers in Phoenix for nearly a year. Waymo will launch the first commercial program in Phoenix within months.

They have applied California regulators to begin testing without safety drivers. The commercial self-driving in California will likely start in 2019.

Waymo is buying 62,000 plug-in hybrid Pacifica minivans and 20,000 electric I-Pace SUVs over the next few years.

Waymo has self-driving commercial Peterbilt Class 8 semi trucks. Google Alphabet is testing the commercial trucks in Atlanta to move equipment between their own buildings.

Waymo is in talks with most of the global carmakers including Chrysler about personal self-driving cars. Personal Waymo self-driving cars will likely start appearing in 2-3 years.

Waymo will also be used for self-driving cars, vans and buses for public transportation. This will start with pickups for the disabled. Currently cities pay $25-50 for each public transportation trips for the disabled. Waymo could cut those costs.

The self-driving car market could be over$1.5 trillion a year by 2030, according to UBS analyst Eric Sheridan. Waymo software have 60% of autonomous cars in 2030 and Google could make $114 billion in revenue, not including the trucking business.

Tasha Keeney, ARK Invest, believes Waymo could charge around 70 cents a mile—a quarter of the cost for Uber passengers in San Francisco. Robotaxis should get down to 35 cents a mile by 2020.

Cruise Automation, the number self-driving car company and unit of GM can see getting prices to less than $1 per mile cost by 2025.

Waymo is safer than teenage and senior driving and should be cheaper than owning a car and paying for insurance.

Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.

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6 thoughts on “Google Waymo launching paid self-driving car service in Phoenix in 2018 and California likely in 2019”

  1. Waymo is doing well and ahead of many in this race. I think they are at level four here and will be for a long time, but that is good enough for most conditions. I am very excited about the changes this tech will bring over the next 20 years.

  2. I think perhaps the Waymo technology is up to working in restricted environments. By this I mean a well mapped out location in good weather. This gets around the whole needing Level 5 problem by never operating them where they’d need to revert control to a driver.

    Frankly I don’t expect to see full Level 5 self driving cars for another decade. However, one grace of Level 4 that it can safely hand off control to a human driver unlike the Tesla autopilot where you need to keep your eyes on the road and one hand on the wheel while you are making the sign of the cross with your other hand. 😉

  3. I live here where they are testing, and you do see the Waymo vehicles everywhere. But i have yet to see one without a driver. Also, keep reading that “in the coming months” it’s going to roll out, yet here we are in August. How many more months are left? I keep checking for a Waymo app, no nada. I’ll believe it when i see it.

  4. The posting doesn’t explicitly say anything about SAE level of self driving technology. I have to assume it’s Level 4 but I hope it’s Level 5. The difference between the two amounts whether or not the car has has restrictions on it’s use and more importantly whether or not it will ever need a driver

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