Alphabet’s Waymo on Wednesday launched a significant development in its costly, decade-long quest for autonomous transportation: self-driving taxis that actually generate fares. Waymo has begun charging passengers to use its driverless vehicles in a roughly 100-mile zone in four Phoenix suburbs where it has been testing its technology since 2016.
Producing revenue is a strategic milestone, putting Waymo ahead of U.S. rivals, primarily General Motors Co’s Cruise Automation and Uber Technologies, which have yet to launch their own paid self-driving services. All are racing to win customers and recoup billions spent developing the technology.
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