After Waymo moved from test operation into a commercial service in the Phoenix area with its robotaxis, the Financial Times reports that Waymo started charging passengers. Currently the company is testing out different fee models.
At the same time introducing fees, Waymo also expanded the number of passengers that can join the Early Rider program. Since April 2017 around 400 families have been participating in the robotaxi tests, but now around Phoenix commercials are popping up inviting more residents to join the program.
Research group ARK Invest estimates that already in 2020 two out of one thousand miles driven in U.S. urban areas could be driven by Waymo’s robotaxis. Investmentbank UBS estimated that by 2030 Waymo’s self-driving technology will be used by 60 percent of all robotaxis.
Several analyst groups estimate that the fees per mile in robotaxis will be at 35 cents (21 Euro-Cent per kilometer). Today’s human-driven taxi costs are at four or five fold that amount, even private cars are at least twice that amount.
This article has also been published in German.