Waymo May Be Expanding Its Robo-Taxi Service


Mar. 21 2019, Published 1:54 p.m. ET

Waymo is launching a new technical center in Mesa

Alphabet’s (GOOGL) self-driving unit, Waymo, recently announced that it would be launching another technical center, as big as 85,000 square feet, in Mesa, Arizona, just outside Phoenix’s suburb, Chandler. Waymo’s current 60,000-square-foot technical center is in Phoenix, where it opened three years ago.

Since 2016, Waymo has been testing its self-driving technology at its technical center in Phoenix. Last December, the company launched Waymo One, its commercial self-driving robo-taxi service. The service is currently available to only a handful of customers, with test drivers still behind the wheel.

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Waymo has been testing its fleet on public roads

The company said that the new technical center would “more than double our capacity to service, maintain and grow our fleet of Waymo One cars,” which could mean Waymo is looking to expand its robo-taxi service even though it won’t do so beyond Phoenix just yet.

The company has a fleet of 600 autonomous cars, which are still mainly in Phoenix. Waymo has been ramping up its test miles.

Last October, the company disclosed that it had crossed 10 million miles of self-driving experience on public roads. In terms of real-world experience, Waymo is far ahead of its competition.

Alphabet is still losing billions of dollars on its Other Bets, which include Waymo. Then again, the company has deep pockets and can afford to invest in Waymo, especially if it takes off in the future.


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