In an article for the Associated Press, Navigant Research discusses Waymo's approach to their recent launch of Waymo One
Waymo, a Google owned company, has begun testing it's automated ride-hailing service Waymo One in Phoenix, Arizona. The launch comes several months after a self-driving Uber car crashed, killing a pedestrian.
In an article for the Associated Press, Sam Abuelsamid, senior research analyst at Navigant Research, commented on Waymo’s announcement.
"I suspect the Uber fatality has caused Waymo to slow down its pace a bit and use human safety drivers in its ride-hailing service," said Abuelsamid. "If people keep dying, there will be a bigger backlash against these vehicles."
The service will only be available to a couple hundred riders in Phoenix, with plans to extend the program to the entire Phoenix area and additional cities. Leading up to its debut, Waymo's cars have robotically logged 10 million miles on public roads across 25 cities, with only a few accidents occurring. The automobiles will still have a human driver at the wheel to manage any robotic malfunctions.
Waymo is not the only new player looking to get into the ride-hailing industry; both General Motors and Drive.ai have been testing services. New entrants may pose a threat to Uber and Lyft, currently the top two companies in the industry.