Waymo One, the ride-hailing service that uses driverless vehicles in the suburbs of Phoenix, can now be accessed and booked through Google Maps.
This will be the first fully autonomous ride-hailing option available in the app, which will roll out first to Android users, Waymo said Thursday. The team-up not only brings together two Alphabet companies but also signals Waymo’s push to become more visible and accessible to the public.
Waymo has about 600 vehicles in its U.S. fleet. About 300 to 400 of those are in the Phoenix area, but not all are used in the driverless Waymo One fleet. The Waymo One service only uses driverless vehicles, which means that a safety operator is not physically behind the wheel. It also means that if it pops up on Google Maps, users can be assured that it will be driverless. Some vehicles in the Phoenix area are used for testing. Waymo doesn’t share exact numbers of how many driverless cars it operates as part of the service.
The process still requires a bit of app hopping. There isn’t a direct way to access, book, and pay for the Waymo One rides in Google Maps. Instead, the user is brought over to the Waymo app to complete the booking. Users first have to input directions from an Android device to or from a location in Waymo’s Metro Phoenix territory, which includes parts of Chandler, Mesa, and Tempe. Once the user taps on the ridesharing or transit tab, they will see the estimated price and ETA of their trip with Waymo. Existing Waymo One riders will be directed to the Waymo app to book the ride, while newcomers will be taken to the PlayStore to download it.