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Waymo begins robotaxi airport drop-off and pickups in Phoenix

Waymo has begun offering its robotaxi service for airport drop-offs and pickups in Phoenix. The autonomous vehicle company owned by Alphabet will become the first to cover such a busy metropolitan airport area.

As a test, Waymo began offering airport trips to its employees with safety drivers behind the wheel to guide the AVs. However, it now plans to expand its service to cover the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.

As Alphabet faces significant drop in its ad revenue business, it makes sense that Waymo is attempting to pull its own weight to help its parent company.

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The AV company has been operating since early 2017 with vehicles spotted in territories outside of Phoenix, like Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, and Gilbert. It was only in early 2022 that it entered downtown Phoenix and the company is on the verge of making money as airport trips in the region represent about 20% of ride-hail trips.

Waymo had launched a Trusted Tester program in 2021, a version of its Early Rider program which welcomes new customers to its wait list. The program requires approved customers to sign nondisclosure agreements before they can access its early tech and new service areas.

While the company will eventually open up its services to regular paying customers, those who signed the NDAs will get to use them first. The AVs are expected to fair better than human drivers, because of the strain that heavy traffic has on the latter.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.