Aug. 24, 20213 min read

Waymo Comes Home to San Francisco

Written by Staff

Waymo Robotaxis: Key Takeaways

  • Waymo’s self-driving taxis are returning home to service customers in the San Francisco area…
  • The company will be employing its fifth-generation robotaxis for the new rollout…
  • Rides will only be available to customers who join Waymo’s One Trusted Tester Program…

Waymo robotaxis have finally pulled into the main valet…

The autonomous driving arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG), has officially launched its “robotaxi service” to the greater San Francisco area. 

Trusted Testers Only

But the new futuristic cabs won’t be available to any random Haight & Ashbury hippies. Waymo’s initial customers will be required to join the company’s One Trusted Tester Program. 

The incentive program mirrors Waymo’s strategies in Arizona over the past four years. Waymo’s robotaxis have been cruising around the Phoenix Metro Area since April 2017, when its Early Rider Program first allowed residents to begin taking test rides.

Arizona is one thing, but the tech-savvy crowd in San Francisco is a much bigger target for Waymo…

After all, Silicon Valley is the epicenter of all things tech-related. Not to mention, Waymo has been testing its vehicles on Bay Area roads for over a decade. 

Considering this, the feedback Waymo receives from the population of San Francisco is likely to be more pointed, specific, and constructive than the reviews it garnered in Phoenix. 

“The World’s Most Experienced Driver”

Moreover, Waymo’s self-driving technology has come a long way since it first hit the Arizona highways. It has now progressed to a fifth-generation robotaxi, which the company describes as “the World’s Most Experienced Driver.” 

Using a combination of 360-degree lidar, radar, and cameras, the fifth-generation Waymo robotaxi is bolstered by 20 million self-driven miles on public roads and over 10 billion miles of simulation.

The best part? The rides are free — and they run 24 hours a day. 

Each vehicle will also be outfitted with a state-of-the-art driver support system. Through the service, Waymo tech operators will be readily available to answer any questions riders may have at the tap of a button.

The groundbreaking robotaxis will first service residents within the Sunset, the Castro, Richmond, Pacific Heights, Noe, and the Haight Ashbury neighborhoods (with expectations to expand over time). 

So if you live in the greater San Francisco area, you might be able to catch a groundbreaking ride in a self-driving cab very soon. 

Featured cover editorial credit: Sundry Photography /