The program is officially one year old, and it started in Chandler, Arizona. Waymo said it was going to open up the service to iPhone users (it was previously only available to Android).
The company, in a blog post, also shed light on its fully autonomous taxis, which operate without a driver behind the wheel. The company has been fairly slow to offer those particular types of rides.
Waymo was started about 10 years ago, and it now has about 1,500 users every month, and weekly rides have tripled in number since January. The “rider only” option has also been expanded, to include a few hundred people.
People who use that option are getting rates that are comparable to well-known outfits like Uber and Lyft.
“The majority of Waymo One rides happen in the late afternoon into the evening, and our riders are using the service to do everything from commuting to work and school to running errands and visiting family and friends,” the company said. “Other common Waymo One use cases include going out on a date night, shopping at the local mall, or getting to the gym.”
The company also shed light on why it thinks riders love using the service.
“Not only do our riders love playing a role in shaping self-driving technology, contributing to a safer future, and the consistency of the Waymo One experience, they also enjoy the fun features we have in our car,” the company said. “In the past year, we’ve added things like: music so riders can rock out, dark mode to make screens dimmer at night, a zoom feature so riders can take a closer look on the screen at what the car is seeing, and a map view that allows riders to see where they are along their route. There are also functional features our riders like, including how easy it is to connect with Rider Support in the car or through their app.”