Ride with Waymo Robotaxis Now Available to Everyone in San Francisco

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Waymo’s robotaxi service is now available to everyone in San Francisco. Announced on Tuesday, the service welcomes all—residents, tourists, and curious visitors. Users simply need to download the Waymo app to hail a ride. Previously, since its launch last August, Waymo required users to join a waiting list. This list once had 300,000 people, but demand has since decreased. Now, Waymo has lifted these restrictions.

The company shared their excitement in a blog post. “We’ve been welcoming new riders incrementally, and now we’re thrilled to open it up to everyone,” Waymo stated. San Francisco now joins Phoenix as the second city offering unrestricted access to driverless rides. “The wait is over. Starting today, anyone can hail a ride with Waymo, come rain or shine—or even Karl the Fog. Just download the app and start your journey,” they added.

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The expansion of Waymo’s robotaxi service in San Francisco is set to be a boon for thousands of tourists and locals alike. The self-driving taxis have become a major attraction, drawing visitors eager to experience a ride. This increase in accessibility is expected to boost the usage among businesspeople, who already constitute about 30% of Waymo riders.

Local businesses such as restaurants, bars, and cafes are also likely to see more patrons. Many might have opted to stay home previously due to the hassles of driving and parking on San Francisco’s busy streets.

The rollout of the service has been gradual. Waymo chose to scale up over time to allow San Francisco’s residents to get used to the sight of driverless cars. This was not the only reason for the cautious approach. Last month, it was revealed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had begun investigating incidents involving Waymo’s vehicles, including accidents and reports of the cars driving dangerously.

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Despite these challenges, Waymo has fared better than its competitor, Cruise, which faced significant setbacks including a high-profile pedestrian accident and alleged cover-ups by executives.

Waymo continues to expand, having recently been cleared to start a waiting list service in Los Angeles and continuing tests in Austin, Texas, and Silicon Valley. The company has transported passengers over 20 million miles since 2019, with 3.8 million of those miles in San Francisco, where it operates 300 of its 700 cars.

On Tuesday, Waymo stated, “With tens of thousands of weekly trips, our Waymo One service provides safe, sustainable, and reliable transportation for everyone in the city. Now, it’s available to anyone.”

Source: Waymo Robotaxis Are Now Available to Literally Everyone in San Francisco