Articles, Cognitive Vehicles, Level 5 Autonomous Driving, Smart Mobility, Testing & Validation

Waymo robot-taxi service about to be introduced

Before the end of this year, Waymo wants to start up his robot taxi service. Now some details have been released.

According to an analysis by Navigant, General Motors and its Google-sister Waymo are leading the development of autonomous driving. Yet while there seem to be technical difficulties at General Motors according to unofficial reports, some planning details of Waymo have now become public.

Waymo shortly before introduction

Since the beginning of this years, Waymo has had a permit to operate a robotic taxi service for the state of Arizona. The technology is already being tested there with its Level 4 vehicles.

That this service is meant to be introduced this year, has been known for a while. But so far, hardly any details have been made public. Recently, the emergency procedure was published and ten million test miles were celebrated on public roads.

News about Waymo

Now it has become known that the service will be provided on 100 square miles in the Phoenix area. There will be no drivers or supervisors on board, so customers will be alone in the vehicle.

It has also been announced that the company plans to offer this service in the neighboring state of California as well. There will be a robotic taxi service in Mountain View within the first half of 2019. This is where Alphabet, the parent company of Google and Waymo, has its headquarters. In the second half of the upcoming year, the service will then also be provided in San Francisco.

Problems at General Motors

General Motors also wanted to start its service in San Francisco next year. However, the company seems to have encountered technical difficulties. For example, there is said to be a problem with the dynamics of the objects. In other words, the sensors cannot detect whether an object is stationary or moving.

Waymo negotiations with VW

Waymo meanwhile, is now also in negotiations with the German car manufacturer Volkswagen. Apparently, Waymo is looking for partners in Europe and Volkswagen wants to offer its services. VW wants to buy shares from Waymo, for which they are prepared to spend twelve billion Euros. Whether the plan will actually be implemented, however, is questionable. For such figures, VW needs the backing of the Supervisory Board.

About the author:

David Fluhr is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics. Link to his site: