Waymo Will Roll out World’s First Driverless Ride-Hailing Service in December

Nov 14, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

While Uber and Lyft roll out their loyalty programs, a new competitor with game-changing technology is on the horizon for the ride-hailing giants.

Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, plans on launching its own ride-hailing service in December, Bloomberg reports.

Waymo will rebrand the service with a new name, which is still unknown, when it commences operations in Phoenix, Arizona, next month.

Rides still won’t be open to the general public, and you won’t immediately be able to download an app. Waymo plans on picking “dozens or hundreds of authorized riders” while it slowly rolls out the service in a 100-square-mile area in the Phoenix suburbs.

The autonomous vehicles have already been operating and carrying volunteer passengers in Phoenix for more than a year, but those apart of the program were bound by a non-disclosure agreement that forced them to stay silent on the program.

Now, passengers will be able to post pictures to social media, talk to media about their experience or bring others along for rides. Waymo will slowly add new customers and cars to its fleet as it optimizes the program.

“There will be backup drivers in some cars to help ease customers into the service and to take over if necessary,” Bloomberg’s Waymo source reported. But that means there will be some cars without any backup driver and as a time goes on, Waymo will phase out these failsafes. The company’s fleet will primarily be composed of Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

Riders will order a self-driving vehicle in an app that looks similar to Uber, Lyft and Google Maps combined.

“Waymo will offer straightforward fares that are competitive with Uber and Lyft,” Bloomberg writes. As backup drivers are drawn down and Waymo adds in-ride advertising and purchasable entertainment options, analysts say fares will be reduced.

Uber and Lyft are working on self-driving car programs of their own, although Uber has faced significant setbacks, even with one vehicle killing a pedestrian. Tesla’s Elon Musk also plans on launching a similar service with his electric vehicles.

Since 2009, Google has been developing and testing its self-driving car that’s now driven more than 10 million miles. Bloomberg intelligent mobility analyst Nick Albanese said that Waymo’s closet competitor GM is more than a year away from a self-driving car program this robust.

Featured image by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.