Waymo’s fourth robotaxi city will be Austin, Texas. It will be a bit of a homecoming for the Alphabet-owned self-driving company.
Waymo said that it will start accepting passengers in its fully driverless vehicles in the city later this month. The company has been testing its vehicles on the streets of Austin since March, laying the groundwork for the eventual launch of a commercial ridehailing service.
But the company’s history with the city stretches all the way back to October 2015, when Waymo gave a 10-minute ride to a blind man named Steve Mahan in its prototype Firefly vehicle, which lacked a steering wheel and pedals. The company also kept an office in the city until November 2019, when it abruptly shut it down.