Google’s Waymo spinoff is responsible for the company’s self-driving car efforts. It recently inked a partnership with Intel to further advance its progress in this space. If a new report is to be believed, Waymo might be thinking about launching its own ride-sharing service later this year in the fall.
The Information reports that Waymo’s self-driving cars might be put to the test in a ride-sharing service in select areas later this fall. Waymo has been testing its technologies in Phoenix, Arizona and the report suggests that the division’s first self-driving cars in the service might pick up passengers in this city as early as this month.
There’s apparently some conflict within the company regarding the timeline for launch. Google’s parent company Alphabet bosses Larry Page and Sergey Brin reportedly wanted to launch a service with no human safety drivers back in 2016 but engineers felt that it was too much of an ask from the technology at that point in time.
They suggested a mixed fleet, with cars having human safety drivers behind the wheel for longer drives or destinations that haven’t been mapped by Waymo as yet. This led to a partnership with Lyft which saw Waymo’s manned fleet operate under its established ride-hailing network.
Waymo is yet to confirm the specifics of when its unmanned cars will hit the streets as part of its new ride-sharing service.