Waymo plans to bring its self-driving-sharing service to Los Angeles, joining Phoenix and San Francisco as the company is looking for more city partners. In terms of miles driven, Waymo has completed self-driving miles anywhere in the United States.
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Self-driving cars are becoming more commonplace, with automakers and tech companies collaborating to develop safe, efficient vehicles to join the ranks of regular drivers.
High hopes for Waymo in Los Angeles:
It makes sense for Waymo to want to enter Los Angeles, the third-largest ride-hailing area in the U.S. and an estimated $2 billion market opportunity this year alone.
Parts of the region are known for traffic safety issues and vehicular congestion — all of which lack useful public transportation — and city officials want Waymo to offer customers something unique. Challenges such as criss-crossing highway ramps, unprotected left turns, distracted drivers and narrow pavement streets are some of the unique driving experiences that will keep Waymo vehicles on track.
As Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti put it:
“If we want to change the car culture in Los Angeles, we need to provide Los Angelesians with a real alternative to owning their own vehicle — including a world-class public transit network, a range of positive transportation options, and the convenience of mobility as a service through the integration of Waymo Add to our growing list of ways to get around, and we’re delivering on our promise to ease street congestion, clean the air and give people a better way to get where they need to go.”
As part of its Phoenix operations, Waymo differentiates itself by being the only fully automated ride-sharing service available 24/7 in the East Valley area of Phoenix.