Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Autonomous Vehicles

Waymo To Start Charging Robotaxi Passengers In San Francisco

After years operating only in a corner of Phoenix, Arizona, Waymo branched out to San Francisco in 2021. However, it is hasn’t been charging for its robotaxi service there. That’s about to change. Waymo is on the verge of taking another step toward profitability (even if that’s still far, far away) and will charge riders in the San Francisco area real-life money to get a ride.

Part of the delay commencing non-free rides is that Waymo had to get a special permit from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to charge customers for its service. That has reportedly been secured.

Though, before you look for videos of people jumping in an empty Waymo and going somewhere while comparing the ride to the cost of an Uber, note that the current permit requires that a safety driver be present as well — just in case. Waymo has long had no safety drivers in its vehicles in Phoenix, and I’m sure it will be eager to get to that stage in San Francisco once enough data are collected.

If you’ve been following Waymo super closely, you know that the company has been allowed to deliver packages/goods autonomously in San Francisco since September 2021 — and get paid for that. It just wasn’t allowed to charge for the delivery of human packages.

Waymo tells TechCrunch that the way Waymo has rolled out in San Francisco is how it will roll out in other cities. “That’s the approach we took in Arizona — deeply rooted in our focus on safety — and it’s the approach we’ll take in any of the cities we operate in going forward,” Nick Smith of Waymo states. “We start with an autonomous specialist behind the wheel operating in autonomous mode, and open the rides to a select group of Trusted Testers for free, before we begin charging. Eventually we move to launching in rider only mode (without anyone else in the car). This path helps us to gain learnings about operating our service and worked well for us in Arizona, where we’ve completed tens of thousands of trips in rider only mode for thousands of riders.”

A CPUC report covering September through November 2021 indicated that Waymo had 100 autonomous electric Jaguar I-PACE SUVs on California roads at the time. We don’t have more info on how many Waymo anticipates having on the road as this paid passenger service rolls out or by the end of 2022 or 2023.

We don’t yet know what the price of Waymo rides will be in San Francisco.

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


You May Also Like


The California Energy Commission has chosen Redflow to build a 20 MWh flow battery storage system near the town of Corning.


Who has the most power in America? Oil companies? Political parties? Elon Musk? Nope, nope, and nope. The correct answer is insurance companies. Insurance...


States with decarbonization goals must plan, prepare, and test for long-duration energy storage

Climate Change

LLNL and the Clean Air Task Force have released a new report "Sharing the Benefits: How the Economics of Carbon Capture and Storage Projects...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.