The long-planned commercial robotaxi service from Alphabet’s Waymo unit is finally here, and it conforms to the lowered expectations that its leaders, and prior reports, lately set for the service. The service is not available broadly but rather to some of the “early riders” who have taken trips in the company’s prototypes. And despite one of the slick marketing videos Waymo released today about “Waymo One,” the service is not fully driverless; as expected, there is someone behind the wheel and someone who is monitoring remotely.
There is a long way to go to get to truly autonomous vehicles. Where Waymo is today after a decade-long journey is all the proof you need.