The Uber app will now offer rides on Waymo robotaxis in Phoenix. This marks the first time Uber has ventured into autonomous rides without drivers, a significant development since it abandoned its own robotaxi project.
Uber has joined forces with Waymo to introduce robotaxi rides as an option when users hail an UberX, Uber Green, Uber Comfort, or Uber Comfort Electric vehicle in Phoenix, provided the car is available and within the service area. The feature became available starting this Tuesday.
Users now have the choice to opt for a driverless experience or conventional chauffeur-driven transportation. By making slight adjustments to their settings within the app, users can increase the likelihood of being offered robotaxi rides.
The pricing for Waymo robotaxi rides will be predetermined, much like traditional Uber rides. When the autonomous vehicle arrives at the pickup location, users can unlock the vehicle by tapping a designated button in the Uber app. Once inside the cabin, another button initiates the journey.
Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, expressed his vision for the future in a blog post, stating, “Expect the number of human drivers and driverless cars on the Uber platform to grow side-by-side for a long time to come as we continue to scale a hybrid global network that connects both modes.”
While Waymo has been offering autonomous rides in Phoenix since 2020, the partnership with Uber is expected to attract a broader customer base. Waymo’s robotaxis are already making over 10,000 trips each week in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Waymo, an Alphabet-owned company, has previously received permits to operate fully in San Francisco. This partnership may give Waymo a head start over competitors, such as Cruise, whose permit was recently revoked due to a hit-and-run collision with a pedestrian. With Uber embracing Waymo’s robotaxis, the landscape of transportation is evolving rapidly, bringing driverless travel closer to everyday reality.