As technology continues to change, one company is changing the rideshare experience and trying to give Uber and Lyft a run for their money! After years of testing, Waymo has created a driver-supported robotaxi service that has begun additional testing to service riders in the Bay Area, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Google sister company has handpicked select San Francisco residents to use its application to hail a ride and be transported in a luxurious vehicle equipped with the latest technology.
Waymo is partnered with Jaguar I-Pace, and what makes the vehicle unique is the latest autonomous technology. If you’re not familiar with autonomous technology, let me give you the rundown. According to Infosys, the technology is all about enriching automated systems with sensors, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and analytical capabilities to allow independent decisions based on the data they collect.
Although the ride is considered a robotaxi service, there will be a physical driver in the car. Drivers will assume control if any computer issues arise or it fails to adapt to unpredictable scenarios like navigating narrow, congested streets where there may be several pedestrians and/or bicyclists. All riders participating in the testing will be allowed to ride for free. However, they must sign nondisclosure agreements and aren’t permitted to bring any guests along on the rides.
Waymo is currently one of eight companies this May that have received permits from the state of California to test autonomous vehicles without having a physical driver behind the wheel. As the company continues to expand, a former executive says its business plan calls for it to build a robotaxi fleet that could operate in about half of the 10 largest ride-hailing cities in the world.
Roomies, if Robotaxi was available in your city, would you try it out?
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