Uber starts offering fully autonomous Waymo rides in Phoenix

You can adjust your in-app preferences to make it more likely to match with a driverless car.


Starting Thursday, Uber users in Phoenix might find themselves taking a ride in a driverless car. The company, which sold its own self-driving unit a few years ago, has teamed up with Waymo to offer driverless rides. It’s the first time Uber has offered fully autonomous rides.

When someone in Phoenix requests an UberX, Uber Green, Uber Comfort or Uber Comfort Electric ride, they may be matched with a Waymo vehicle if they’re in the service area and there’s one available. Users will be able to request a ride with a human driver if they’re matched with a Waymo but don’t want to travel in a robotaxi. Alternatively, those eager to try a Waymo ride can set up their ride preferences to make it more likely that they’ll match with an autonomous vehicle.

As with any other ride, users will see the price of a Waymo trip up front. They’ll pay the same as an UberX, Uber Green, Uber Comfort or Uber Comfort Electric fare. When a Waymo vehicle shows up, you can unlock it by tapping a prompt in the Uber app. Once you're inside and ready to go, tap another button to start the ride. You’ll still have access to Uber support staff at any time too.

“Today is an important step in our journey to bring safe, reliable autonomous driving technology to the Uber platform,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in a blog post. “Looking ahead, we expect that the number of human drivers and AVs on the Uber platform will continue to grow, side by side, for quite a long time as we continue to scale a hybrid, global network that combines both.”

Waymo has been offering autonomous rides in Phoenix since 2020, but the Uber partnership will likely see many more people trying them out for the first time. Even so, Waymo says its vehicles already carry out more than 10,000 trips every week in the Metro Phoenix area.