Waymo is expanding its robotaxi service areas in Phoenix and San Francisco, with the aim of attracting new customers, generating more revenue and proving autonomous vehicles are not a passing trend. Waymo’s self-driving vehicles in Phoenix will now cover 180 square miles (around four times the area it served when the ride-hailing operation was launched in 2020). Both Downtown Phoenix and the East Valley communities of Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa and Chandler will be connected, while the town of Scottsdale will also be served. In San Francisco, Waymo is now covering the entire peninsula and planning to eventually begin charging for rides. It will need permission from the California Public Utilities Commission to do so. Waymo is testing autonomous cars in Phoenix since 2017, and calls it the “largest contiguous AV area in the world”. However, concerns have been raised about the rising number of self-driving vehicles in San Francisco and there have been incidents such as blocked roads and rear-ended buses.

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