Exactly one year ago, the world’s first commercial robotaxi service Waymo One was launched, and the Google sister Waymo reflects on its first year.
Every month more than 1,500 people use the service, which has carried out more than 100,000 trips since the start of the still unofficial program in 2017. Since the beginning of the year, the number of rides has more than tripled.
Users can use an app for the service, which now also plays their favorite music in the vehicle. For some weeks now, some vehicles have been on the road without a driver, i.e. completely driverless. The company learned three things about the use of the service by the passengers:
- The majority of the trips take place in the late afternoon and evening. The trips are used for commuting to work or school, but also for date nights, shopping and rides to the gym.
- Passengers are also aware that by using the service, they are involved in the creation of a new technology that will lead to safer traffic. They also use the information system that shows them the route to their destination or plays music.
- An important area to improve the technology was the pickup and dropoff points. The vehicle must be able to find and drop off the passenger at the right place, and this is not possible simply by waving at the car and calling a non-existent driver.
Also the Waymo App is now officially available in the US App stores and interested users can register for the service and get on a waitlist.
For 2020, the program is to be expanded and made accessible to more users, and new functions are to be made available both in the app and in the vehicle.