Waymo’s robotaxis are now open to anyone in San Francisco

The city joins Phoenix as the only areas where it’s available to the general public.


Waymo is now available for anyone in San Francisco to fire up the app and hail a robotaxi. The Alphabet-owned company has had government approval to operate paid driverless cars in the city since last August but had been working its way through a waitlist in the months since. Following Cruise’s unceremonious exit from California (after dragging a pedestrian 20 feet and concealing evidence from regulators), Waymo is now the only company with autonomous commercial cars in the state.

Waymo says its cars have logged over 3.8 million driverless miles in San Francisco, and the company claims its vehicles tally “tens of thousands of weekly trips” there. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Waymo’s fleet in the city has about 300 cars, up from around 250 in January. However, despite the wider availability, it reportedly doesn’t plan to aggressively expand its San Francisco lineup in the near future.

San Francisco is Waymo’s second city to offer rides to the general public, following Phoenix. The service was exclusive to Waymo One members (and their invitees) starting in 2020, and expanded to anyone in the city two years later.

Cruise may have flamed out spectacularly, but Waymo hasn't been without its own troubles. Earlier this month, it pushed a software update for its fleet after one of its driverless cars hit a telephone pole in Phoenix. That followed a bizarre incident earlier this year when two Waymo robotaxis “made contact” with the same backward-facing pickup truck being towed. The company later said its software had incorrectly predicted the truck’s movements due to a “persistent orientation mismatch” between the towed vehicle and the one pulling it.

If you’re in San Francisco (or Phoenix), you can book a Waymo ride through the iOS or Android app.