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Waymo will expand rideshares to Austin, Texas, its fourth city

A Waymo Jaguar I-Pace.

Enlarge / A Waymo Jaguar I-Pace. (credit: Waymo)

Waymo is “doubling down” on its autonomous rideshare program with an expansion to another city. The company’s fourth rideshare area will be Austin, Texas. The city is a hot spot of self-driving car activity, considering it’s already home to a bunch of other projects from Cruise, Volkswagen, and (formerly) Argo.

Waymo says it wants its Austin service “to be a truly useful service from the start, traversing a large portion of the city night and day. The Waymo Driver will travel to many popular locations, like the heart of downtown, Barton Hills, Riverside, East Austin, Hyde Park, and more.”

Waymo says it will “begin an initial phase of operations this fall, with fully autonomous deployment and our first rides with the public in the months following.” The company says it has been testing in Austin since March with its Jaguar I-Pace cars, but this isn’t the company’s first move in the city. Back in 2015, when Waymo had its goofy little “Firefly” cars with no steering wheels, the company was testing in Austin, where it famously let Steve Mahan, a legally blind person, go on the “world’s first” public driverless car ride.

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