Waymo Wants to Bring ‘Robot Taxis’ To L.A.

After launching pilot programs in San Francisco and Phoenix, the company says it is ready to begin deploying its autonomous vehicles on Los Angeles streets.

1 minute read

October 25, 2022, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Alphabet-owned Waymo plans to expand its autonomous fleet to Los Angeles, reports Russ Mitchell for the Los Angeles Times. After three years of mapping the city, Waymo says the company is ready to test its robot taxi service on L.A. roads. 

Waymo is conducting pilot programs with and without backup drivers in Phoenix and San Francisco. “To charge for rides, Waymo must obtain a permit from the California Public Utilities Commission. The company declined to discuss pricing plans, but in Phoenix its fares are roughly comparable to those of Uber and Lyft.” General Motors, Ford, and Hyundai are running their own autonomous taxi pilot programs in other cities. 

Companies in the autonomous vehicle industry, which have spent around $75 billion on product development so far, are starting to lose stock value as regulatory approval and widespread adoption of the technology remain elusive. Petitions from Ford and General Motors to exempt autonomous vehicles from certain safety features have met with opposition from safety advocates who say the automakers are cutting corners and could endanger passengers and pedestrians.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 in Los Angeles Times

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