In practice, when the new features go live later this year, riders will be able to call a Waymo-owned autonomous vehicle in select areas in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to a robo-taxi, UberEats functionality is included. That means if you live within the 180 square miles Waymo operates in Phoenix, there’s a chance that what is effectively a robot car will deliver your Chipotle order. Waymo noted that the Waymo One app will also function after the features go live.
Safe driving and electric vehicles are obvious benefits of the Waymo and Uber partnership, but one also has to think of the Uber drivers who rely on the app for their income. People getting squeezed out of their paycheck by robo-taxis might not have been an intended consequence of the merger, but it will almost definitely happen if the program expands further.
In Phoenix, Waymo has already started ferrying people to the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.