POV of using a driverless taxi is so hard to comprehend

  • Waymo is a robotaxi service owned by Google
  • It is currently available in Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Francisco
  • The company only uses Jaguar i-Pace SUVs

Published on Jul 01, 2024 at 12:25 PM (UTC+4)
by Alessandro Renesis

Last updated on Jul 02, 2024 at 11:25 AM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

Driverless taxis, or ‘robotaxis’ as most people call them these days, are all the rage at the minute.

Every company in the world seems determined to get a piece of this particular pie.

Supercar Blondie’s Alex Hirschi also had the chance to experience one, and the experience felt more than a little bit strange.

READ MORE: Rimac CEO teases autonomous robotaxi that will ‘change the lives of more people’

In this case, Alex used Waymo, which is one of the ‘OGs’ of the robotaxi world.

It all started with Firefly, a bubble-looking robotaxi launched by Google in 2014.

Firefly then evolved into Waymo, which is still owned by Google, and it now uses a fleet of Jaguar i-Pace SUVs.

Until not long ago, Waymo was only available in certain parts of Phoenix, AZ, as well as certain areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco in California.

The service now covers the entire city of San Francisco, with plans to expand to Austin, Texas next.

How does it work?

The app works more or less exactly like an Uber.

You summon the car, and when it’s close to you, you can unlock it and hop in, and it’ll take you to your preset destination.

Once inside, you can change the radio station, play some music, change the temperature, and you can also call a support agent, in this case, a real human being, in case you need help.

Other companies are doing this

Waymo was one of the first, but other companies are joining the party.

There are even flying cabs being tested in parts of the world.

Of course, there’s the upcoming Tesla robotaxi, dubbed ‘Cybercab‘, which is apparently going to be unveiled in August.

Last but certainly not least, even electric hypercar manufacturer Rimac is having a go at it.

Rimac’s robotaxi is called ‘Verne‘, and it is going to be available in 30 cities globally, starting from the capital of Croatia, Zagreb, in 2026.

How safe is using a robotaxi?

In theory, it’s all very safe, and the technology behind it has been developed in painstaking detail over years and years.

Also, the removal of human error from driving has the potential to be hugely beneficial.

For their part, Waymo says its cars have covered 20 million miles so far, with fewer accidents per mile driven than equivalent taxi services involving human drivers

Still – for the time being, at least – robotaxis are still only available in a handful of locations.

That means that we’ll need to build up a much more detailed picture as the technology becomes much more widespread.

# Tags - Cars, Robotaxi, Tech


Alessandro Renesis

Experienced content creator with a strong focus on cars and watches. Alessandro penned the first-ever post on the Supercar Blondie website and covers cars, watches, yachts, real estate and crypto. Former DriveTribe writer, fixed gear bike owner, obsessed with ducks for some reason.