Google's Self-Driving Car Service Could Be Operational This Year
Google's self-driving car unit, Waymo, is planning to launch a fully self-driving car service in Phoenix within months.
Amir Efrati first reported the initial news of this ambitious target for what could become the first fully self-driving car service, though that article is behind a paywall. Timothy B. Lee followed up on the news with an article for Ars Technica.
"Obviously, there's no guarantee that Waymo will hit this ambitious target [of this fall]," writes Lee. "But it's a sign that Waymo believes its technology is very close to being ready for commercial use."
According to the original report, the Waymo service is likely to launch in Chandler, Arizona, where Waymo has already done extensive testing. "Waymo chose the Phoenix area for its favorable weather, its wide, well-maintained streets, and the relative lack of pedestrians." The state also takes a permissive legal approach to self-driving cars, according to Lee.
The article includes more information about the remaining "kinks" that need to be ironed out before Waymo and other self-driving car companies can hit the big time.