Waymo One continues to expand its ride-hailing service in the Phoenix area to connect more communities and serve more riders.
They announced Thursday that they’re doubling the Waymo One service area in Phoenix, connecting downtown and East Valley territories. This expansion will include Scottsdale for the first time, cover nearly all of Tempe and give additional access to Chandler and Mesa. Anyone in the area can hail a ride with the Waymo One app, whether they’re Arizona State University students commuting between campuses or pin-seeking golfers on vacation.
With this expansion, they now serve 180 square miles of the Valley — the largest fully autonomous service area in the world. It’s also nearly four times the size of its initial Waymo One service area when they opened the world’s first true fully autonomous ride-hail service to the public in 2020.
To serve the growing Phoenix ridership in such a large metro area, they have opened a second location to access Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport at the new 24th Street PHX SkyTrain Station. Waymo now offers airport pick-up and drop-off location no matter where you’re headed in the metro area. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport served more than 44 million passengers last year, or more than 120,000 per day, a significant commercial opportunity for Waymo’s growing operations.
“Waymo One remains the only and largest 24/7 fully autonomous ride-hailing service in the world — serving thousands of rides in multiple key markets — and we’re scaling quickly,” said Saswat Panigrahi, Waymo chief product officer. “These latest expansions in metro Phoenix is a big step forward on the road to growing our business.”
Across Waymo One, they are now serving over 10 thousand trips per week to public riders, not including employees. With this latest expansion, they intend for those numbers to accelerate rapidly to 10 times that scale by next summer. More than 150 million people use ride-hail services in the U.S., and with Phoenix as one of the most lucrative and fastest-growing markets, Waymo One is well positioned for continued growth as they commercialize this technology.
Fueling this growth is the continued refinement of the Waymo Driver and operational efficiencies implemented across their fleet. Today’s performance of the Waymo Driver is enabled by tens of billions of miles in simulation, tens of millions of on-road autonomous miles, state-of-the-art machine learning and feedback from real riders. With this expansion, they’ve released key software updates to increase the reliability of the service, including improved hand gesture detection, more versatile multi-point maneuvers and enhancements to their driving performance in inclement weather. They also now allow up to four passengers in the vehicles, delivering more flexibility for riders and improving the everyday usefulness of the service.
“When it comes to transportation options, convenience, safety and efficiency are key for Scottsdale’s 9.7 million annual visitors," said Stephanie Pressler, director of community and government affairs at Experience Scottsdale. "Experience Scottsdale is excited that our visitors and residents alike will soon have a new option in Waymo as they move throughout Old Town Scottsdale’s shopping, entertainment, historic and arts districts, as well as travel to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.”
Over the next few months, Waymo said its focus will be on growing ridership and increasing capacity across the Phoenix area. They plan to build upon their strong relationships with community groups like Foundation for Senior Living, plus partnerships with organizations like the Arizona Diamondbacks.
For a ride, download the Waymo One app on the App Store and Google Play.