As of Monday, May 11, Waymo’s fully self-driving vehicles are back on Valley roads. The company is taking a phased approach to resuming operations after suspending its driving operations in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s doing so with the same emphasis on safety that drives its vision.
Crafted in coordination with team members, partners, and local and state authorities, Waymo’s tiered approach to getting back on the roads begins with deploying its test fleet with a single vehicle operator in the front seat of its hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivans and will progress toward serving Waymo One ride-hailing customers at a future time. Its vehicles will operate without passengers for now.
In line with CDC and state and local guidance, Waymo is taking several specific steps to ensure safety, including:
● Maintaining social distancing in Waymo facilities
● Creating a new health and safety training and requiring the use of a mask in facilities and vehicles (unless a person is alone in a vehicle)
● Increasing cleaning and disinfection
● Screening all individuals who enter Waymo’s facilities
Waymo is a supporter of Governor Doug Ducey’s Arizona Together effort to connect Arizonans with helpful information and resources during this time. Through its Let’s Talk Self-Driving initiative, Waymo is encouraging the public to learn about and support its Phoenix-area nonprofit partners: the Foundation for Senior Living, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Arizona, and the Foundation for Blind Children as they serve the community in the time of COVID-19.
While people may not have seen Waymo out on the road during the last few weeks of social distancing, Waymo was still improving its technology on simulated roads. Learn more about how Waymo continually improves its self-driving technology through simulation here.