TECH

Waymo expands robotaxis to Texas


Continuing its expansion plan, Waymo announced that it will begin its robotaxi services in Austin, Texas, starting this Wednesday (6). According to Google's self-employed division, the company will, for now, only serve its employees, but should open the option to the public soon.

What do you need to know:

  • Services will be available in an approximately 45-mile region, reaching downtown Austin, Barton Hills, Riverside, East Austin and Hyde Park;
  • The expansion comes shortly after the company received authorization from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to bring its operations to Los Angeles and additional locations in San Francisco, California;
  • With Austin, Waymo now operates in four US cities — it is also in San Francisco, Phoenix and Los Angeles;
  • Waymo is trying to resume its operations after two of its vehicles were involved in an accident, triggering an investigation by California regulators.

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Our disciplined deployment in Texas' capital city brings us one step closer to safely delivering the benefits of fully autonomous driving to many more people.

Saswat Panigrahi, head of product at Waymo.

Waymo's expansion was recently suspended after the CPUC decided to block the company's plans in the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles due to an accident. After the company adopted measures to restore the safety of autonomous workers — such as the recall of 400 robotaxis, as a software error was identified (remember here) — the regulator reconsidered the pause and approved the request, which did not go down very well with some government blocks. , like LA City Hall.

It is worth remembering that not only Waymo, its rival Cruise also faces scrutiny from regulators and a lack of approval from users, who have lost confidence in the driverless vehicle after several collisions.

Recently, for example, a Waymo AV was attacked and set on fire during Chinese New Year celebrations in San Francisco's Chinatown. The action was retaliated against an incident in which another company car hit a cyclist at an intersection in the city.



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