Waymo goes big in Phoenix with its driverless cars

While the company is debuting its driverless cars in Arizona, it has ambitions to scale the experiences it creates to other parts of America soon.
26 July 2018 | 813 Shares

Waymo forms strong partnerships with businesses in Arizona to trial its driverless car. Source: Shutterstock

Waymo has just announced some new partnerships in a bid to integrate their driverless cars into the lives of the people of Phoenix, Arizona.

Later this week, for example, Walmart and Waymo will launch a test pilot that gives early riders savings on groceries each week when they are ordered on Walmart.com.

While orders are being prepared at the store, riders can use Waymo’s self-driving cars to get to Walmart, collect their groceries, and head back home.

Through another partnership, people who want to visit Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center in Chandler can avail of rides in Waymo’s self-driving car through a partnership with DDR, allowing them to escape the stress of parking lots.

Waymo’s self-driving cars will also be integrated into the VIP experience offers to visitors in Phoenix, through a partnership with the Element Hotel in Chandler. Select guests, maybe business travelers who need to commute to and from the office during their frequent stays, will have a chance to experience the technology.

Finally, Waymo is augmenting its existing partnerships with AutoNation and the Avis Budget Group to make it easier to experience the technology.

AutoNation, who already helps Waymo service and maintain its vehicles in Phoenix, will make it possible for its customers to ride with Waymo technology while their personal vehicle is being serviced.

The Avis Budget Group, on the other hand, makes sure Waymo’s vehicles are charged, refueled, and presentable for riders, will start using Waymo’s self-driving cars as a “last mile solution”, picking them up and dropping them off to their rental car, before and after a journey.

And although the company is only offering its driverless cars experiences in Phoenix, Waymo is keen on expanding its reach soon – through the same partnerships.

“While these are Metro Phoenix-specific partnerships today, these businesses are national and what we learn from these programs will give us a network of partners when we launch in new cities down the road,” said the company’s recent blogpost.

From the looks of it, it seems as though Waymo is doing all it can to surge ahead of competitors GM, Diamler-Bosch, and Ford through its network and reach.

It’s likely that customers will develop a preference for the company that provides them with their first successful and safe driverless car experience, and with the way Waymo is moving, it seems as though they’ll be that company.