Waymo is part of the same parent company now as Google even though it started out as a self-driving car project at Google’s moonshot division. It was spun off as a separate company as it geared up to launch its self-driving taxi service. The service isn’t available to everyone as yet but it’s in semi-open trials in the Pheonix area. The testers in that area can now get the Waymo app from the Play Store.
Waymo has been working on self-driving car technology with one major purpose in mind: launching a taxi service that doesn’t have a driver behind the wheel. A combination of sophisticated sensor and camera technology is used in addition to advanced machine learning technology to enable the car to drive on its own.
However, due to the current regulatory conditions, the Waymo One robot taxi service does have human safety drivers behind the wheel but they don’t actually touch the wheel unless something goes wrong and the car doesn’t make the right decision on its own.
Waymo’s app will let users see the cost of their trip, make changes to it, and obviously book rides. The app itself can be downloaded anywhere but only those in the Phoenix area can actually get some use out of it, that’s only if they have received an invite to test out Waymo One in the first place. Sign ups are possible through the app.
— Waymo (@Waymo) April 16, 2019