Waymo, the autonomous vehicle developer under Alphabet, is opening up its driverless robotaxi service in downtown Phoenix to vetted local residents.
People who have been accepted to Waymo’s “trusted tester” program are eligible to hail a driverless ride — meaning no human safety operator is behind the wheel — in a Jaguar I-Pace EV in downtown Phoenix. Waymo has branded these as “rider only” trips to denote that a human safety operator is not in the vehicle. Trusted testers sign non-disclosure agreements and cannot share their experiences on social media or with journalists.
In May, Waymo co-CEO Dmitri Dolgov said on stage at TC Sessions: Mobility that the company had started allowing employees to hail a driverless ride — sans human operator — in the downtown Phoenix area. Opening it up to trusted testers is the next step before a wider public release.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego posted a message (along with a video) on Twitter and Instagram marking the occasion.