A service similar to that of Uber, Lyft and other apps to book a taxi, of course, but provided through a fleet of autonomously driven cars. The announcement was made last year during the Lisbon Web Summit: Alphabet, the Google company working on the production of vehicles capable of moving in traffic without the need of a driver, had stated that by the end of 2018 would have launched an app with which it would be possible to book one of the self-driving taxis licensed by Waymo. And so it was, right on the end of time.
Just in these days, in the city of Chandler, in Arizona, the cars of Waymo, booked directly through the official app of the service, began to transport their passengers within an area of about 200 square kilometers, allowing them to move on board a self-driving vehicle. Of course, despite the proclamations of Alphabet, the whole still retains the character of a pure test, as evidenced by the US edition of Wired. The people currently authorized to use the service are still the same about 400 who had already taken part in the last 18 months at the previous Google home test, also at Chandler. With the only variant that now - differently from the past - they are authorized to talk about the experience, and possibly to bring acquaintances and friends with them on board the cars.
Another detail worth mentioning is the presence on board of the various Waymo cars by a human back-up pilot. At least in this first phase of the service, in fact, Alphabet has decided to equip its autonomous vehicles with a driver, who will constantly monitor the behavior of the vehicle and intervene in case of malfunctions or behaviors outside of what is expected. In short, the launch of self-driving taxis still seems only very, very partial. Yet, in some ways, it seems to officially mark the beginning of what could become the new era of road transport.