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Waymo halts self-driving car fleet due to coronavirus

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, all Waymo services and testing are on hiatus.

Waymo One
Waymo will suspend the majority of its operations that involve the public.
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Following news that Waymo has curtailed its fleet of self-driving car prototypes in California and Arizona, the company has grounded its entire fleet amid the coronavirus outbreak in the US until April 7, Waymo said on Tuesday.

The self-driving division of Alphabet first said on March 17 it would cooperate with all CDC guidelines as governments from the local to federal level work to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes. That meant any Waymo One rides with a human backup driver were no longer possible.

But those part of the early rider program could still hail a self-driving Waymo without any human backup driver. The company began to remove human safety drivers from some of its vehicles late last year. With the latest direction, even Waymo self-driving cars operating without a human backup driver were called back home.

With the totally driverless cars, Waymo hoped to carry out delivery services in the community, but as with many industries, the coronavirus has made operational goals a moving target. The decision also suspended all tests surrounding Waymo's trucking services and prototypes.

Now playing: Watch this: A ride on public streets in Waymo One

First published March 17.