Uber offers autonomous rides through Waymo

  • November 6, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Uber customers in Phoenix, Arizona, can get matched with a fully autonomous, all-electric Waymo vehicle with no human driver behind the wheel.

This is available in the more than 580 square kilometres of Metro Phoenix where Waymo operates.

When an Uber customer requests an UberX, Uber Green, Uber Comfort or Uber Comfort Electric ride through the Uber app, they’ll have the option to confirm a ride in a Waymo vehicle if matched to one.

This is the first launch of Waymo’s partnership with Uber it announced earlier this year.

“Our partnership with Uber gives their riders the chance to experience the Waymo Driver,” said Tekedra Mawakana, co-CEO of Waymo. “As we continue to scale, we want as many people as possible to experience the safety, consistency and delight of riding with the Waymo Driver.”

Riders will still be able to hail the Waymo Driver directly through the Waymo One app, available to the public in Metro Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles and, soon, Austin.

Tens of thousands of people hail the Waymo Driver every month in Metro Phoenix, and the Waymo Driver provides more than 10,000 rides each week in the region, over a thousand of which are to or from Sky Harbor International Airport.

“We’re proud of the rider community we’re building in Metro Phoenix, the result of years spent developing a genuinely useful service in the market,” said a Waymo statement.

It is five years since the launch of Waymo One in Chandler, Arizona, and three years of offering a fully autonomous service to the public. In that time, Waymo has quintupled the size of its service area in Phoenix, making it the claimed largest AV ride-hailing territory in the world.

“Our partnership with Uber allows us to expand the benefits of safe, reliable, autonomous driving technology and lets more people experience the excitement of riding with Waymo,” said the statement. “We’re delighted to welcome even more riders into Waymo vehicles with Uber.”

An Uber (www.uber.com) statement added: “This is an important step in our journey to bring safe, reliable autonomous driving technology to the Uber platform. Looking ahead, we expect that the number of human drivers and AVs on the Uber platform will continue to grow, side by side, for quite a long time as we continue to scale a hybrid, global network that combines both.”

Waymo (waymo.com) was previously known as the Google self-driving car project.