Wird Waymo der erste Anbieter von autonomen Fahrzeugen, der Geld verdient?
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Waymo never wanted to make self-driving cars of its own. Instead, the company has been partnering with automakers to install its tech in their cars. Last year, the company announced that it will be tapping Fiat Chrysler's Pacifica Hybrid minivans to test its early rider program in Phoenix, Arizona, to get feedback about its autonomous taxi service by providing free trips.
The good news: Arizona's transport department has approved Waymo's application of offering its services as a transportation network company. The company now intends to launch its commercial taxi service later this year in Phoenix, allowing customers to hail a ride on its autonomous car using an app.
This would make Waymo the first operator of a commercial self-driving cab service in the U.S., and it won't be long before it expands this model elsewhere. In all, Waymo has tested its self-driving cars in 25 cities in the U.S., so it can quickly roll out its service in other areas based on the success it finds in Phoenix.
Not surprisingly, Waymo is already planning for such an eventuality as it recently announced a deal with Jaguar Land Rover to add 20,000 self-driving I-Pace electric SUVs to its fleet in the long run. Waymo intends to deploy this new car for testing by the end of the year, and eventually become a part of the company's commercial ride-hailing fleet from 2020.
The two companies believe that they can offer as many as 1 million trips a day when the fleet is at full strength. Now, it is not clear how much money Waymo would be making thanks to such deals, but investors can expect substantial gains as the Alphabet subsidiary could be on track to reinvent the lucrative ride-hailing market.