In October, Waymo announced that its ride-hailing service is coming next to Los Angeles following Phoenix and San Francisco. Waymo vehicles have now started “fully-autonomous (no human driver) testing in LA.”
In October, Waymo mapped Downtown and Miracle Mile, Koreatown, Santa Monica, Westwood, and West Hollywood with vehicles driven by a human. The Alphabet company has now completed a “rigorous cycle of validation and safety readiness evaluation,” with LA’s “criss-crossing freeway ramps, narrow surface streets, high numbers of unprotected left turns, blinding sunsets down its east-west roads, and distracted drivers” previously cited as being challenging.
We see brief footage of Waymo cars driving behind Metro buses, and accounting for cyclists and bicyclists. Waymo is using the electric Jaguar I-Pace and has a goal of providing “round-the-clock service” for all of LA.
While autonomous LA driving with no human driver is now underway, there will be more testing that’s limited to Waymo employees and then members of an early access program. Only after that will Waymo opens the service to the public and start charging for service, like Uber or Lyft.
Meanwhile, Waymo shared last week that it made improvements to support “harsher weather and heavier rain” and added features like parallel parking to its existing fleet.
More on Waymo:
- Waymo marks 1 million miles with ‘no human driver on public roads’
- A quick look at Waymo’s custom, steering wheel-less robotaxi [Video]
- Here’s a Waymo car self-driving in San Francisco set to lo-fi hip-hop [Video]
- Waymo AVs can play a melody instead of honking to help you find your ride
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