Waymoself-driving car Alphabet Inc. said it will start offering trips to San Francisco without a driver behind the wheel, trying to catch up with a competitor Cruise in his native territory.

Driver-free travel will only be available to Waymo employees to begin with, the company said Wednesday.

Waymo has also announced plans to expand its operations in Arizona to cover downtown Phoenix. It offers autonomous trips for the public in the Phoenix metropolitan area from 2020.

“We have learned so much from our trusted testers in San Francisco over the past six months, not to mention the countless lessons our riders have learned over the years since launching our fully autonomous service in the East Phoenix Valley,” in a statement.

Ltd. “Cruise”, mostly owned by General Motors, announced it would start offering driverless trips to the public in San Francisco last month – trips are currently free until Cruz gets the necessary permits from regulators to charge tariffs. This phase sparked an additional investment of $ 1.35 billion from Vision Fund Softbank.

Self-driving cars, such as Waymo, Cruise and Zoox from Amazon.com Inc., have tested their technology in the Gulf area for the past four to six years, including in the often challenging traffic conditions of San Francisco. The companies ’efforts rely heavily on gas or electric vehicles equipped with a set of leaders and other sensors needed to detect everything – other vehicles, people, roadblocks and more – in the environment.

Efforts with the autonomous vehicle also depended on having drivers behind the wheel take over in the event of a breakup. The pace of progress accelerated during the pandemic, with several startups receiving permissions to remove the security driver in limited circumstances.

Previous articleBy 2030, companies plan to build 50,000 chargers in the UK
Next articleWaymo: We are taking our next step in the city by the bay