“Working together, we want to explore how self-driving vehicles could fill transportation and mobility gaps for riders across the Greater Phoenix area,” the company wrote in a blog post on Medium.
The first phase will launch in August, and offer first- and last-mile transit connections for Valley Metro employees, helping to connect them with public transportation. These riders will be able to use the Waymo app to order a ride to their nearest public transportation location. The service will then expand to provide first- and last-mile travel to Valley Metro RideChoice travelers, which covers groups usually underserved by public transit. The end goal is to open this service to the public, to transport more people to Valley Metro transportation hubs in the Phoenix area in the future.
The company added, “For nearly a decade, Waymo has been working to build the world’s most experienced driver — one that can make it safe and easy for people and things to move around. Our goal is to focus on four areas: creating a ride-hailing service, developing self-driving trucks for logistics, licensing with OEMs for personally-owned vehicles and connecting people to public transportation.”
Last week, it was reported that Waymo is starting a trial run for Walmart customers in Arizona. Walmart shoppers in the Phoenix area can hitch a ride in a self-driving car to pick up their online grocery orders.
Beyond Walmart, Waymo is working with DDR to provide diners and shoppers with rides to a shopping center in Chandler, Arizona. Waymo has also grown a partnership with Avis Budget Group and AutoNation, a collaboration that provides customers with a Waymo ride instead of a rental car when their personal vehicles are in the shop.