Waymo self-driving cars hit the road again in Phoenix

Waymo paused its operations back in March as the coronavirus pandemic began to take shape.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
Waymo self-driving car

Guess who's back this Monday?


Those residing in the metro Phoenix area will once again start to see Waymo's self-driving vehicles hitting the road. On Thursday, the Alphabet Inc division said it will start redeploying its autonomous cars starting May 11.

Waymo first curtailed its fleet of autonomous vehicles on March 17 as the coronavirus pandemic took shape in the US. However, it allowed its vehicles operating without any human safety drivers to continue operating. Individuals part of the early access program within the Waymo One ride-sharing service could still hail a ride that didn't include a backup driver. Those self-driving cars also went away eventually on April 7.

This restart does not include the Waymo One service, a company representative told Roadshow. Monday's restart is "the first part of our tiered approach to safely resume our operations," the representative added.

Like so many other types of businesses, Waymo said it plans to closely monitor employee health and adjusted how workers interact. The changes include adhering to Centers for Disease Control guidelines, including social distancing, and increased disinfection of Waymo vehicles.

In the coming days and weeks, the company added it will also start to return vehicles to public roads in California and Michigan.

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Watch this: A ride on public streets in Waymo One