Waymo Reaches 50,000 Paid Customer Trips A Week

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Waymo has spent most of my adult life working on self-driving vehicles (originally under the Google brand, until about 7½ years ago). For a long time after it finally started offering robotaxi service for non-employees, the service was free. Since December 2018, though, Waymo has offered and slowly expanded commercial service. The company provided an update this week to let the world know that is now providing 50,000 paid customer trips per week. That’s not nothing!

At any time of day or night on any day of the year, one can order a Waymo in parts of Phoenix, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Across those regions, this latest update tells us that it is picking up passengers 5 times a minute or 300 times an hour.

Waymo has also surpassed 1 million rider-only trips.

These are big numbers. Of course, they don’t at all recoup investment costs to date, and it’s unclear when Waymo would actually make a profit — if ever. This is the challenge: it has to offer fairly low rates to have business, and that makes it hard to get a positive return on investment. But that’s the dream — for all of this investment to one day pay off and make Waymo operations profitable. I’m sure Waymo will tell us when we get there.

In the meantime, this is the feelgood story Waymo is sharing with us: “We see people from all walks of life use our service to travel carefree, gain independence, reclaim their commute and more. Fully autonomous ride-hailing is a reality and a preferred mobility option for people navigating their cities every day.” I’m not going to lie — I love it.

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Zachary Shahan

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.

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