Back in March, Waymo decided to suspend driving operations in response to COVID-19 to ensure the safety of everyone involved in their services and local communities. Starting Monday, May 11, Arizonans will begin to see some Waymo vehicles back on the road. The first part of their tiered approach to safely resume our operations begins with their test fleet and responsibly progresses to serving Waymo One riders again.
“Even under the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19, we’ve continued to advance our technology and mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going. Our continued focus on hardware and software development, driving in simulated environments, and ongoing investment in advanced algorithms, machine learning, and evaluation means we have not taken our foot off the pedal during these unprecedented times.
We’re beginning to restart our driving operations in the Metro Phoenix area after careful consideration and active conversations with our teams, partners, and local and state authorities. The health and safety of our riders, team, and partners is our number one priority as we begin driving again.
How we’re moving forward safely
Following guidance from the CDC, state, and local authorities, we’ve now taken several steps to ensure our team’s well-being as we begin to resume operations, including:
Redesigned how we work and move in our facilities: We’ve redefined how we work and move around in our facilities to respect social distancing guidelines, including spacing out our work areas to abide by the recommended six feet of social distancing, redefining use of common areas, and limiting maximum capacity for our spaces.
New personal health & safety training: We’ve created trainings for our team around new safety standards and expectations, how we’ll work and move around in our facilities, as well as steps to ensure their health and safety, and that of their teammates. In line with Arizona guidance, our team will wear face masks in Waymo facilities or vehicles (unless a person is driving alone in the vehicle).
Increased cleaning and disinfection: We’ve deep cleaned our facilities and, in partnership with AutoNation, are conducting multiple daily cleanings of our vehicles.
Health monitoring: We’re working with an occupational healthcare provider to screen all individuals before they enter our facilities.
We’re taking a thoughtful and measured approach towards bringing our driving operations back on the road. We’ll begin driving in other cities in the days and weeks to come, including San Francisco, Detroit, and Los Angeles, and the resumption of our driving operations in these locations will similarly be guided by ensuring the safety and health of our team in line with CDC and state and local guidance.
It feels good to get back on the road! Thanks to our Waymo One riders in Metro Phoenix for their patience as we work to get our driving operations back online safely and in line with the new normal”
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