Waymo Hides Behind Delivery To Deploy Its Self-Driving Vehicles Again
Waymo will deploy its self-driving vehicles again for the first time since the lockdown began. The company’s plan to use the vehicles to run deliveries will help it sidestep the lockdown restrictions.
“Back in March, we decided to suspend our driving operations in response to COVID-19 to ensure the safety of everyone involved in our services and local communities.
“After careful consideration and active conversations with our teams, partners, and local and state authorities, we’ve begun over the last several weeks to resume our driving operations in Phoenix.
“Soon San Franciscans will also begin to see some Waymo vehicles back on the road, and we’re proud to provide charitable delivery support to community partners. The health and safety of our team is our number one priority as we begin to drive again in San Francisco,” a spokesperson for Waymo said in a statement.
The Verge reports that company emails, obtained from Waymo, show that it will resume operations on 8th April 2020. The self-driving cars will run delivery for two Bay Area non-profits; illustrator Wendy McNaughton’s #DrawTogether, and Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
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Waymo, whose back up drivers are employed by Transdev North America, supplies the self-driving car company with drivers. Both companies have an agreement implying that Waymo will be relying on it for test drivers.
Transdev says it will select staff who will resume based on “job skills, business need, and seniority”.
“We will slowly increase this number week after week while maintaining a wealth of safety measures and training to accustom you to the new procedures,” the email reads.
Employees who will remain home will still have to clock in for 40-hours a week. They also have to keep up with their training and will continue to receive their pay, according to the company.
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