Waymo Launches For-Pay Driverless Shuttle Service

Today Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo autonomous-vehicle unit is accepting paying customers for some of the 500 self-driving shuttles it has been testing in Phoenix, Ariz.

Dubbed Waymo One, the program will cover Phoenix and four of its suburbs with 24/7 on-demand service. The company says the vehicles to be used—modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans—will have human backup drivers on board for now.

Waymo says it will initially restrict access to the app-based service to “hundreds” of selected riders who have been testing the service in Phoenix over the past eight months.

The vans can carry as many as three adults and one child per trip. Waymo hasn’t explained pricing for the service, but it says customers will be presented with estimates before they agree to take a trip.

Waymo has been testing pricing models there since October. The company began offering select Phoenix consumers free rides in truly driverless vans in March. The for-pay program launching today will help Waymo collect data about the operational aspects of commercial service, according to the company.