The Waymo One Commercial Self-Driving Vehicle Service Has Officially Launched

cageymaru

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
20,170
Waymo has officially launched its commercial self-driving vehicle service called "Waymo One" in the Metro Phoenix area which includes Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, and Gilbert. Initially the service will be available to former testers called "early riders" who will use an app to call the self-driving vehicles 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At the start of the program, Waymo-trained drivers will ride along to supervise the customer experience. Some early riders are testing fully driverless rides on the service. Up to three adults and a child can fit into the vehicles. Riders will see price estimates before they accept the trip based on factors like the time and distance to their destination. Eventually the general public will be able to experience the autonomous vehicle service as Waymo One rolls out to more areas and adds more vehicles.

Almost 10 years ago, we were founded as the Google self-driving car project to explore one simple question: how can we best use fully self-driving technology to make roads safer? We've been focused on building the world's most experienced driver ever since. There's a long journey ahead, but we believe that Waymo One will make the roads safer and easier for everyone to navigate.
 

Kalabalana

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Messages
1,313
I'm looking forward to the maturation of this service.
I see public transportation, and private shuttle busses being first in the consumer space for this rather than Johnny Cab
 

Hatriot

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 18, 2018
Messages
157
Bet those are the actual developers in that commercial right? *spit*
 

WhoMe

Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
827
I might go for something like this if I lived in/near a city, out here in the middle of nowhere I doubt such services would show much or any profit...it would be fun though to watch one try and come up the steep hill when there is a foot or three of snow on the road...I wonder if the auto driver can get out and put on chains ;). Maybe self driving snowcats or snow mobiles would do it. Don't get me wrong I think self-driving vehicles are the future and the advantages outweigh the problems, I just think this idea of on call cars is going to be somewhat limited and a long time before it becomes the majority model.
 

Trepidati0n

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
9,088
I might go for something like this if I lived in/near a city, out here in the middle of nowhere I doubt such services would show much or any profit...it would be fun though to watch one try and come up the steep hill when there is a foot or three of snow on the road...I wonder if the auto driver can get out and put on chains ;). Maybe self driving snowcats or snow mobiles would do it. Don't get me wrong I think self-driving vehicles are the future and the advantages outweigh the problems, I just think this idea of on call cars is going to be somewhat limited and a long time before it becomes the majority model.

Nobody says it will be one size fits all pricing for all uses cases. In cases where you live out side of a certain zone you may need to pay a "no passenger fee" to get the vehicle to your house equal to the distance they don't make revenue on. Revenue is revenue..if there is a model they can develop to serve that group...they will go after it. My guess is there will be models where a car will show up sometime in a window to take you to work and will pick you up sometime in a window to go home that will be "very cost effective" and there will be models where a car will show within 5 minutes no matter where you are (within reason) if you pay a premium subscription. The driver-less model allows a litany of more economic models than it he current "human driver system". Personally, i am looking forward to go from a 2 car household down to 1. The average "sedan owner" spend over $10k/year on a car for ownership and operation costs and that is quite a bit of bacon to fight over. It is even more valuable considering I would get over 200 hours of time back to do other things. Shit, I could see business actually paying for employees commutes as long as they did their email on the way to/from work to save the time at work for actually thing requiring human interaction. ;) Regardless, if you think about it..average person spends ~300 hours per year in a car meaning i costs $30/hour to drive.
 

WhoMe

Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
827
Nobody says it will be one size fits all pricing for all uses cases
Nor did I. But this type of service may not be as popular as people think. It may catch on as us old folks die off. But it will be interesting to see what millennials do as they age, it's not uncommon for people who didn't drive while young to decide to do so later. Again here it's not really practical, too small a population too great distances...remember they need to make a profit, but it's got to be cheaper than owning...120 mile commutes are common here. But the main thing holding this back will be scheduling...if people can get used to the idea of not being able to go somewhere spur of the moment...but how many times have I called the doctor/dentist (e.g.) and been told, yeah we can squeeze you in if you can get here in 20 minutes...but it would take a car 20 minutes just to get to me if dispatched from town immediately (where, if electric, they would have to be based). And how many cars can they house to provide for peak demand and still be profitable?
 

BSmith

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
1,323
I hope they are well marked vehicles so I can avoid them. The technology is simply not mature enough yet.

One thing for sure. I will be avoiding the Phoenix area in any future travels.
 

sfsuphysics

I don't get it
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
14,280
Coming home from a buddy's place this afternoon and low and behold... WAYMO starring at me on the back windshield, and yes it's VERY obvious what they are. Those little spinning cylinder cameras on the back bumper and front corners, black dome on top (more camera?), two ... what I can only describe as afterburner thrusters coming off from the rear on both corners at the roof line, and some weird backpack looking thing, I guess where the computer gizmos are? But basically a white minivan. There were two people in it both in front seat, I'm guessing this tech (rules of the road) still requires a human behind the wheel unlike what the video shows. Didn't get the feel that it was a self driving car though except it was actually driving at like 25 mph down Valencia St. (San Francisco), it hopped into a left turn lane at the last minute though not sure if the turn lane confused the car, or maybe the car was actually being steered by a person, but yeah that's when I passed it and Waymoffed.
 

SuperSparky

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
126
Self-driving will NEVER be perfected as long as the faults of nature exists. People are unpredictable, and road conditions are not always perfect, nor set in stone. Potholes filled with water form, people drive like idiots, pedestrians don't obey traffic laws, tires don't always grip, things completely out of our control can come flying at the car from any direction, items can fly off of trucks, etc. No, perfectly safe self driving isn't happening.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2006
Messages
3,729
Self-driving will NEVER be perfected as long as the faults of nature exists. People are unpredictable, and road conditions are not always perfect, nor set in stone. Potholes filled with water form, people drive like idiots, pedestrians don't obey traffic laws, tires don't always grip, things completely out of our control can come flying at the car from any direction, items can fly off of trucks, etc. No, perfectly safe self driving isn't happening.
It doesn't need to be perfect, just better than humans, which it already is. They can see better and react faster than humans can. They also don't get distracted, tired, or drive drunk.
 
Top