Waymo has announced a major expansion of its Phoenix service area and modest expansions in San Francisco. It also announced hitting 2 million miles of operation with no safety driver in the car, just shortly after hitting 1 million. The company now covers a large contiguous area of Phoenix, Chandler, Tempe and Scottsdale, including airport service. They are now providing 10,000 trips every week to members of the public. These are all industry-leading numbers in the West.
Waymo’s expansion in Phoenix offers a path to some important milestones for a real-world robotaxi service. It’s now closer to meeting a decent fraction of the needs of some residents of the Phoenix area and a bit better in San Francisco with the addition of Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach. In particular, it can do much better at a tourist’s needs.