Waymo pilot program shows how self-driving cars could boost transit
Waymo is about to launch a pilot program to explore how self-driving cars can be used in combination with public transit, the Google self-driving car unit announced on Tuesday. Starting in August, employees of Valley Metro, the agency that operates the Phoenix area’s bus and light rail systems, will be able to get Waymo rides to their nearest bus or light rail stop.
Eventually, Waymo hopes to open this service up to the general public, providing first- and last-mile service for customers who want to use transit but aren’t quite close enough to walk to the nearest stop.
Two visions for transit in a driverless future
An important question about the rise of self-driving cars is whether the technology will complement conventional public transit or replace it. Back in May, we talked to Thomas Bamonte, an official at the Central Texas Council of Governments. The council has been involved in self-driving transit projects in Texas, including the startup Drive.ai’s first shuttle service in the Dallas suburb of Frisco.