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August 24, 2021

Welcoming our first riders in San Francisco

  • Waymo One
A parent and their child opening the door to a white, Waymo vehicle in San Francisco
A parent and their child opening the door to a white, Waymo vehicle in San Francisco

Today, we’re excited to share the next step in our journey in the City by the Bay, with the kickoff of our Waymo One Trusted Tester program.

Trusted Tester is a research-focused program that, for the first time, will invite San Franciscans to actively help us shape the future of fully autonomous ride-hailing. We’ve been driving in the city for over twelve years, have accumulated more autonomous driving miles in California than anyone in the industry, and began ramping up our testing by offering autonomous rides to our employees in San Francisco earlier this year.

Now, for the first time, San Franciscans will be able to hail an autonomous ride in one of our all-electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles equipped with the fifth-generation Waymo Driver. While this is a first for San Francisco, it is a familiar step for Waymo. Over the past four years in Metro Phoenix, we’ve gone from welcoming our first riders in 2017 with an autonomous specialist on board, to launching the first public, fully autonomous ride hailing service. Since October 2020, we’ve served tens of thousands of fully autonomous rides, and through our years of experience, have refined our incremental approach guided by our safety framework and rider feedback.

Our San Francisco Trusted Testers can hail autonomous rides for their everyday needs anywhere they want to go in our initial service area, whether it’s their favorite bakery in the Sunset, or a special picnic spot in Golden Gate park. All rides in the program will have an autonomous specialist on board for now, and our Trusted Testers will also share feedback with us on their ride experience. From using the Waymo One app, to pickup and drop-offs, to the ride itself, we receive valuable feedback from our riders that allows us to refine our product offering as we advance our service. We kicked off this program last week with a select few and are now expanding the program to all interested San Franciscans. We’ll begin with an initial group and welcome more riders in the weeks to come.

Through the Trusted Tester program, we’ll help San Francisco residents expand their mobility options while complementing the city’s robust public transportation infrastructure. We’re committed to ensuring that our ride-hailing service is accessible for people with disabilities, both in our autonomous vehicles and in rides provided through our local wheelchair accessible vehicle partner. We’re beginning our Trusted Tester program with riders of all different mobility levels, and those who require a wheelchair accessible vehicle can hail directly from the Waymo One app and provide critical feedback on their experience as well.

Our commitment to the city of San Francisco extends beyond Waymo One, as we are dedicated to serving the community through civic engagement and public education efforts in the Bay Area, as we work with key city stakeholders to bring awareness to the societal benefits of autonomous driving technology.

We can’t wait to hear from more San Franciscans as they experience the Waymo Driver themselves. Beginning later today, San Franciscans can sign up for the Trusted Tester program and help us shape the future of mobility in this city. Just download the Waymo One app to get involved.

Happy riding!