Waymo will start testing its robo-taxis on Phoenix freeways, adding to the company’s already large reach in Arizona while California lawmakers and labor organizations demand new regulations for self-driving vehicles.
Expanding driverless rides to freeways comes after years of testing on California and Arizona public roads, according to an announcement Waymo made Monday. Autonomous rides on the freeway will be available to company employees only as part of the initial testing process.
“The ability to utilize freeways will be especially important as we scale our operations to other cities. For this reason, we are laser focused on our freeway ride hailing testing,” Waymo said in a blog post.
Waymo operates in 225 square miles in metro Phoenix, but using freeways can speed up trips by 50% compared to using city streets, the company said.