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August 11, 2023

Waymo’s next chapter in San Francisco

  • Waymo One
Compilation of Waymo Riders in San Francisco
Compilation of Waymo Riders in San Francisco

Fully autonomous vehicles were once the unimaginable future. For many San Franciscans they’re now a daily reality and an essential mode of transportation. Since late 2022, thousands of SF residents across all neighborhoods have relied on our fully autonomous Waymo One service to get around the city 24/7.

Now, we’re making the experience available to more people.

Today, Waymo received its driverless deployment permit from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the final step in a robust process with regulators before we could offer a paid fully autonomous ride-hailing service in San Francisco. In the coming weeks, we’ll begin charging fares for rider-only trips in the city and gradually welcoming more riders into the service.

“Today’s permit marks the true beginning of our commercial operations in San Francisco,” said Tekedra Mawakana, co-CEO of Waymo. “We’re incredibly grateful for this vote of confidence from the CPUC, and to the communities and riders who have supported our service. We can’t wait for more San Franciscans to experience the mobility, safety, sustainability and accessibility benefits of full autonomy for themselves — all at the touch of a button.”

With over 100,000 signups (and counting) on our waitlist, we expect demand will be incredibly high. So to ensure riders receive a reliable service and our expansion is gradual, we’ll be welcoming new riders to Waymo One incrementally.

“I started riding with Waymo through an ongoing partnership between Waymo and the Women's Building where I work,” said Olivia Glowacki, Development Associate at The Women’s Building. “While at first I was hesitant to try it out, I can now say that I trust Waymo's autonomous vehicles to get me around the city in a safe manner that not only protects me, but protects hundreds of pedestrians, bicyclists, and other San Franciscans.”

More riders will also be able to ride across all of the city, from Bernal Heights to Fisherman’s Wharf, and from Bayview to Lands End. Over a thousand riders have already been enjoying fully autonomous trips across all of San Francisco, and we’ll make it available to everyone over time.

Waymo One is already serving over 10,000 rides every week to members of the public — with no human behind the wheel — across both San Francisco and Phoenix. Parents use Waymo when picking their kids up from soccer practice, hospital staff to get to work, individuals with disabilities to get around independently and seniors to stay connected to their community.

“Being almost eighty years old, I have given up driving,” said Zak Kong, a long-time San Francisco resident. “Being in a Waymo vehicle is not only exciting, but a safe and easy way for me to get around San Francisco. I love the way Waymo navigates through city traffic and it is priceless to be able to relax while I safely get where I need to go.”

There’s a critical need to improve the safety of our roads. Nearly 43,000 people died on U.S. roads in 2022—an average of 117 per day. Early data indicates the Waymo Driver is already reducing traffic injuries and fatalities in the places where we operate. In our first million miles of fully autonomous driving, we had no reported injuries, no collisions involving pedestrians or cyclists, and every vehicle-to-vehicle event involved rule violations or dangerous behavior on the part of the human drivers.

The technology behind the Waymo Driver is also constantly improving, learning from every mile it drives. From handling heavier levels of rain and fog to smoothly navigating construction zones and improved rerouting around emergency scenes — we’re seeing strong performance and rapid ongoing advancements across the board.

We take a careful, gradual approach to expanding our technology, guided by our safety framework. We’ll continue to work closely with policymakers, regulators, first responders, advocates for road safety and the cities in which we operate to ensure our service has a positive impact on mobility and the community overall.

We would like to thank our riders, community advocates, and the residents of this city, whose support has enabled this exciting new chapter of fully autonomous technology in San Francisco. We’re thrilled to bring you on board, and can’t wait for you to experience fully autonomous rides firsthand. If you’d like to sign up to ride, download the Waymo One app on the App Store and Google Play.