Skip to main content
Back to all posts

June 5, 2024

Largest Autonomous Ride-Hail Territory in US Now Even Larger

  • Waymo One
Animation showing expansion of Waymo's Metro Phoenix map; test reads: "Metro Phoenix: The largest autonomous ride-hail territory in the US is now even larger."

Starting today, Waymo One riders can now access an additional 90 square miles of Metro Phoenix, making the largest autonomous ride-hail territory in the United States even larger. Riders can enjoy the benefits of autonomy across a whopping 315 square miles of The Valley, with this expanded service area stretching further into North Phoenix, as far as Desert Ridge with its popular retail and music scene.

Looking further northeast, tourists and golf-lovers alike will now be able to take a Waymo to and from more of Scottsdale’s resorts, opening up world-class desert attractions and iconic golf courses like TPC Scottsdale. The service also expands east to more of downtown Mesa and its popular destinations like the Mesa Arts Center and Pioneer Park.

“Metro Phoenix holds a special place in Waymo’s history and our hearts,” said Waymo Chief Product Officer, Saswat Panigrahi. “It’s a privilege to continue serving Phoenicians and visitors alike, and our team is excited to offer access to even more popular destinations across The Valley.” 

New destinations, same quality service

Our Phoenix-based riders are well-accustomed to traveling in autonomous comfort, and now more visitors to the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas can experience the benefits of autonomy from terminal to tee box, and more.

We have recently given Waymo employees 24/7 access to curbside terminal pick up and drop offs at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, with the intention of offering this service to public riders soon. Waymo One riders can currently access the terminals directly from 10 pm to 6 am or use the 24th St and 44th St PHX Sky Train® Stations at all hours of the day. Our strong partnership with the City of Phoenix and Sky Harbor remains critical to providing travelers and residents alike quality transportation options.

"I'm thrilled about Waymo's expansion to North Scottsdale and the exciting new option for curbside drop-off at PHX, which will give me more flexibility with my travel plans," said Tempe resident and Waymo One rider Scott Martin. "My rides so far have been seamless, convenient and reliable, ensuring a stress-free journey every time. With intuitive technology and effortless navigation, Waymo makes me feel like I'm living in the future!"

Autonomous service on tribal land

In another first for Waymo and the autonomous vehicle industry, our vehicles are now able to operate on tribal land in partnership with the Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community. Waymo riders can now access the Talking Stick Entertainment District, featuring Talking Stick Resort, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, TopGolf and more in the area.

“The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) is excited to announce its partnership with Waymo,” said SRPMIC President Martin Harvier. “This collaboration marks a significant step forward in our commitment to innovation and sustainable solutions. Waymo's proven track record in developing and deploying autonomous technologies gives us confidence that this initiative will revolutionize the way people travel within our city, enhancing accessibility, safety, and efficiency for residents and visitors alike.”

Map comparing Waymo's Metro Phoenix service area from July 2023 to June 2024

Refining user experience

“We’re not only focused on giving our riders more places to ride,” said Panigrahi, “we’re also continually listening to our riders and finding ways to make the in-car experience safer and more comfortable.” 

In the process of designing an autonomous ride-hail service from the ground up, we’ve discovered a number of surprising ways to design a more human-centric experience. For instance, all-electric vehicles are nearly silent, and without the hum of an engine, road noise can be a much more distracting presence. To make our riders even more comfortable from the second they enter their Waymo ride, they are greeted with a personalized audio experience including new ambient music, from which riders can select between a handful or tracks or turn it off completely. Welcome to your new transportation oasis - wherever you ride with us.

Over half of Waymo One riders use the in-car music features, so we’ve improved their ability to customize their experience, with new iHeartRadio stations tuned to their personal preference each time they get into a Waymo vehicle. Our riders will also find re-designed in-car screens, displaying contextual details like stop signs and objects shown through lidar point clouds, which provide a clearer understanding of how the Waymo Driver perceives its surroundings.

Finally, Waymo riders can travel with peace of mind by using the ‘Share Trip’ feature to keep their friends and family informed about their whereabouts through the Waymo app. 

We’re excited for more people to experience the many benefits of fully autonomous driving – from expanded mobility to more personalized and comfortable travel. Stay tuned for more Waymo rides available in more places soon.