Remember the word Alphabet – it’s the name of the company that now directs Google and its latest off-spring, autonomous company Waymo – because they’re about to join the transportation revolution.
The autonomous ride-sharing transportation revolution is almost upon us – Ford is working on a fully self-driving car for a car-sharing service for 2021, General Motors and Lyft are working towards setting up a fleet of “thousands” of autonomous electric Chevrolet Bolts and Waymo has actually kicked off an “early rider program.” Wait, what? While Waymo – which has a partnership with FCA that provides the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans for self-driving duties – has never discussed ride sharing, it turns out this was their plan all along.
For now it’s only a test program – the company allows regular people to sign up to be part of the trials, and they simply “call” for a car with the smartphone, then get driven autonomously to their destination. By the way, in case you didn’t get that – this is a service offering rides in car that drives itself on public roads, takes regular folks to their destination and the service is even free for the enlisted persons, along with their family members. Of course, engineers from Waymo will be on point to see how the service – in use every day and with many different people – operates in real world scenarios. For now it’s limited to Phoenix, where the company operates a testing center for autonomous technology. By the way, Waymo now operates a fleet of 600 cars – the first 100 test cars are now being joined by an additional batch of 500 units.