Waymo announced via Twitter, that its next stop is Atlanta with its self-driving cars. Noting that now that it has an entirely autonomous fleet on public roads in Arizona, it was looking to expand to more cities, and Atlanta is the first city it is expanding too. Waymo will likely be expanding to more cities in the coming months though, as it progresses its self-driving vehicles.
Atlanta is a pretty good choice for Waymo, as it will be a bit more of a challenge than Phoenix was, due to the shear amount of traffic in Atlanta. The city is known for having some pretty heavy traffic, which is going to be a good test for these self-driving cars. It is something that Waymo has been testing with its vehicles, but it hasn't had any time on public roads that are congested just yet. Waymo does already test its vehicles in a number of other cities like Mountain View, San Francisco and Austin. It is also going to be heading North to Michigan to start testing these vehicles in cold weather, to see how well they do in the snow and sleet. Waymo is the first self-driving company that has expanded into Atlanta, while others are looking to expand into busy Northern cities like New York City (more specifically, Manhattan), and Boston.
Waymo spun out of Google's umbrella back in 2016 and became its own company. It was formerly known as Google's Self-Driving Car Project, but now it is its own company. Which means it needs to figure out how to generate some cash. Well, Waymo is looking to start its own ride-sharing service in Phoenix later this year. Which would help drive in some revenue for Waymo, but more importantly, it's another test for Waymo. Alphabet, Uber and Lyft all want to use self-driving cars for ride-sharing, and that would be the next test for Waymo. So it'll be interesting to see how well it fairs later this year when the service debuts in Phoenix. It'll also be interesting to see how well it fairs when it comes to handling the absurd amount of traffic in Atlanta, in the coming months.