By Josh Beckerman

 

Waymo plans to provide fully driverless rides to the general public in the Phoenix East Valley area.

The Alphabet Inc. unit already offers the Waymo One ride-hailing service, with safety operators present in the self-driving vehicles. Some customers participated in a early rider program that required a confidentiality agreement.

Waymo said in a Thursday blog post that as technology improved, it "increased the scope and quantity of our operations, with 5-10% of our rides in 2020 being fully driverless for our exclusive group of early riders under NDA."

In the near term, "100% of our rides will be fully driverless." Later this year, after it adds safety barriers, Waymo will re-introduce rides with vehicle operators, "which will add capacity and allow us to serve a larger geographical area."

In March, Waymo said it raised $2.25 billion led by Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Mubadala Investment Co., marking its first outside funding.

 

Write to Josh Beckerman at josh.beckerman@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 08, 2020 18:10 ET (22:10 GMT)

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