Earlier this month, the company was given the greenlight to expand operations in the city

Graham Hope

March 18, 2024

3 Min Read
A Waymo autonomous self-driving Jaguar taxi drives along Venice Beach on March 14, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Waymo’s full self-driving taxi service has finally launched to the public in Los Angeles.

The company confirmed the news in a blog post, where it stated that operations would officially get underway on March 14.

The announcement comes after the California Public Utilities Commission gave the greenlight earlier this month to an application from the company to expand its operating areas in the city.

The fully autonomous ride-hailing service is launching across a 63-square mile area of the city stretching from Santa Monica to Downtown, taking in areas such as Century City, Westwood, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Koreatown.

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Initially, rides will be free, but Waymo says it intends to transition to a paid model in the near future. Customers have already started posting their impressions of the service on social media.

The company claims it has more than 50,000 people already signed up to its waitlist and now intends to onboard them fully, while also handing out temporary codes to other potential customers.

Over the past year, Waymo has gradually been building its presence in Los Angeles, racking up the necessary on-road experience required to be approved for paid operation, while raising its profile among locals.

This has allowed residents to experience riding in Waymo’s converted Jaguar I-Pace SUVs, and in the process it claims to have fulfilled 15,000 autonomous rides across the city, achieving a satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5 from customers.

Related:Waymo California Expansion Gets Greenlight

Los Angeles will be the third city where the company operates a commercial service, following San Francisco and Phoenix, Arizona – and it hopes a fourth will follow later this year.

Following Waymo’s recent announcement that it is launching a service in Austin, the company has shed more light on its plans for the Texas city.

It explained that it is currently testing fully autonomous rides with employees across 43 square miles of Austin, including areas such as downtown, Barton Hills, Riverside, East Austin and Hyde Park, and intends to extend the service out to members of the public later this year.

The company’s progress has been hailed by Tekedra Mawakana, Waymo’s co-CEO, who said: “Once an unimaginable future, autonomous driving is now a real-world way of getting around for tens of thousands of people each week.

“After achieving key milestones in each city, we’re so excited to bring the safety, comfort and delight of our Waymo One service to more people in Los Angeles and Austin this year.”

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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