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Waymo’s driverless cars are finally ready for the highway

Waymo driverless vehicle on a highway
Image: Waymo

Waymo’s days of avoiding freeways are finally coming to an end. The Alphabet-owned company announced today that its fully driverless vehicles would begin tackling the higher speeds of Phoenix’s freeways, all while ferrying passengers to and from their destinations.

Waymo says it will approach freeway trips with some degree of slowness — not in terms of vehicle speed, but with regard to which passengers it accepts. The company will start by offering driverless rides to just employees and their friends. Later, paying passengers who use the company’s Waymo One ridehailing app will get to travel on the freeway if their trip requires it.

Self-driving cars typically skip freeways, preferring to stick to lower-speed local roads. This has not…

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