Waymo is finally set to begin offering rides in its autonomous taxis to riders in San Francisco. As The Wall Street Journal reports, you have to be a certain type of rider to experience a Waymo taxi.
Waymo announced that those interested in riding in the taxis can sign up via their app. From there it’s just a matter of singing a bunch of NDAs. The company is also being tight-lipped about how many people are actually participating.
On Tuesday, the company said San Francisco residents can sign up to participate in the test program by downloading the Waymo One app. It declined to share how many riders would be enrolled or how many cars would be eligible for the service. The rides will be free for participants, who must sign nondisclosure agreements and can’t bring guests on rides.
Once selected, you can hail the Waymo taxi, which is a modified Jaguar I-Pace to your location for the ride. Don’t worry though, there’s a driver onboard to back up the system.
Drivers seated behind the wheel will assume control if the computer falters or fails to adapt to any number of unpredictable scenarios as it navigates narrow, congested streets alongside pedestrians and cyclists.
Waymo is currently working to reduce the cost of the I-Paces, which is estimated to be $250,000 per vehicle. But, getting passengers to pay for rides and realizing some actual revenue would be a big step for Waymo.
Some investors seem to believe the company could be a winner. Waymo raised $2.5 billion from a round of funding in June.