Waymo’s Robotaxi Exceeded 6,200 riders in its initial month in California
According to a quarterly report the company registered with the California Public Utilities Commission, Waymo carried 6,299 passengers. This was in self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans, where they were competing in a robotaxi pilot program in California. Keep reading to learn more about this robotaxi’s overall performance.
The starting phase
The company completed 4,678 passenger trips in July and another 12 trips for educational purposes. It is a remarkable number for an inaugural attempt that pencils out to an average of 156 trips every day that month. And it shows that Waymo has the resources, team and vehicles to manage a self-driving vehicle pilot.
Owing to these results, the company is planning to continue to test its technology in various cities and ramp up its Waymo One ride-hailing service in Arizona.
Can you experience this drive?
Waymo’s pilot program is not open to the public. Waymo or Alphabet workers and their guests can take trips within its geofenced South Bay territory. This currently involves Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. This is just a few of the cities where Waymo is presently testing in California. And since the company is in this pilot program and cannot charge for the rides, it is challenging to decide what the need will be for self-driving passenger services.
Self-driving vehicles and the CPUC
The CPUC approved in May 2018 two pilot programs for carrying passengers in autonomous vehicles. The first one was called the Drivered Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service Pilot program. This lets companies operate a ride-hailing service using autonomous vehicles as long as they abide by particular rules. These include no cost, a human safety driver must be behind the wheel, and specific data must be notified quarterly.
The second CPUC pilot will enable driverless passenger service, although the companies are yet to receive that permit.
Last quarter’s numbers
Waymo’s line closed 4,678 trips and logged 59,886 miles during the concluding month of the quarter.
As exciting as the numbers are, Dr Susan Shaheen, the co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California and others in the industry have individual reservations. They wonder if the information being gathered will help state governors and companies discover the significance and challenges of commercial autonomous vehicle services.
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