Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary company Waymo, an autonomous driving technology development company, announced that it will not only scale up its robo-taxi hailing services in Phoenix but will also begin to offer rides in minivans with no human assistant on board.
Notably, the robo-taxi industry has boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic as social distancing has become the new norm due to the high coronavirus infection rate. As a result, different global tech companies are working closely with governments to meet different jurisdictions’ driving requirements that can assist to flatten the coronavirus curve.
In addition, the competition has significantly spiked within the autonomous driving industry. Whereby each company has been soliciting investors to put in their capital with them based on their future prospects.
As for Waymo, it has been supported by other tech companies. Autonomous driving requires a lot of tech incorporation ranging from cloud computing to chipset industry to make the vehicles interoperable with existing vehicle technologies.
The robo-taxi industry is promising to significantly reduce the rate of accidents caused by human error on our roads. As a result, human productivity will be enhanced since they can now focus on other challenges effectively.
Waymo and Robo-Taxi Industry
According to a report that was released by UBS Evidence Lab, the global robo-taxi industry is expected to reach $2 trillion by 2030. Whereby, approximately 12% of the globally produced new cars will be sold to robo-taxi companies. The report also suggested that around 26 million robo-taxis will be in operation globally, hence making it a huge venture market.
This fact is one of the reasons why Alphabet has hugely invested in Waymo autonomous driving. Furthermore, Waymo has previously outsourced capital from investors. Earlier this year, Waymo managed to raise a total of $3 billion/
The autonomous company has been operating a commercial self-driving hailing taxi service in Phoenix, and Arizona dubbed Waymo One.
However, due to testing issues, Waymo has been operational in a small square mile around the Phoenix metropolitan. Waymo One app users can access unmanned robo-taxi services at around 81-square kilometers around Phoenix.
According to Waymo chief John Krafcik, the company will, for now, offer only rides in driverless cars. However, it will relaunch its service for a larger 100 square mile swath of the Phoenix area in a few weeks. Notably, Waymo will deploy Pacifica minivans that are developed by Fiat.
Waymo is seeking to be the leading robo-taxi company in a heavily competitive market. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) is also working on autonomous driving cars that will compete ruthlessly with the robo-taxis.