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Uber and Waymo partnership brings fully autonomous rides to Phoenix

Image credit: Uber

Uber has joined forces with autonomous vehicle (AV) technology company Waymo, to introduce fully autonomous rides to customers in Phoenix.

Starting on Thursday, riders in the metropolitan area of Phoenix can request a ride on the Uber app and potentially be matched with a vehicle powered by the Waymo Driver. This collaboration between Uber and Waymo aims to revolutionise transportation by offering an entirely autonomous ride experience, eliminating the need for a human driver.

To facilitate rides with AVs, Uber customers will have the chance to ride in a Waymo vehicle if the route falls within Waymo's expanded operating territory, including Sky Harbor International Airport's 24th St and 44th St SkyTrain locations. It is important to note that a dedicated Waymo vehicle must be available for the ride to be possible.

To increase the likelihood of being matched with an AV, customers can indicate their preference for autonomous rides through the Ride Preferences section in the settings of the Uber app. By selecting this option, riders express their enthusiasm for riding in AVs, potentially enhancing their chances of being matched with a Waymo vehicle.

Prior to dispatching a nearby Waymo vehicle, customers are given the option to either accept the ride or look for another. Once the Waymo vehicle reaches the pick-up location, riders can unlock the vehicle and commence their journey, all within the familiar Uber app. Should any assistance be required during the trip, 24/7 customer support is available through both the Uber app and inside the Waymo vehicle.

The partnership also aligns with Uber’s goal of becoming a zero-emissions mobility platform by 2040. By facilitating rides with electric vehicles, such as Waymo's all-electric Jaguar I-PACE, Uber can help reduce gas consumption, emissions per passenger, and make eco-friendly transportation options more accessible to riders.

Uber’s Dara Khosrowshasi said: “Today is an important step in our journey to bring safe, reliable autonomous driving technology to the Uber platform. Looking ahead, we expect that the number of human drivers and AVs on the Uber platform will continue to grow, side by side, for quite a long time as we continue to scale a hybrid, global network that combines both.

“At Uber, we are building the future of transportation, which will be increasingly electric, shared, and autonomous. Welcome, Waymo!”


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