Waymo Has Plans to Bring its Self Driving Taxis to Europe

By Tom Pritchard on at

At the end of last year Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Google parent Alphabet, announced plans to launch a self-driving taxi service in San Francisco and Phoenix. Those plans haven't fully come to fruition yet, but the company is already setting its sights on a new target: Europe.

While speaking at the Automotive News Europe Congress in Turin, Wyamo CEO John Krafcik has confirmed that the company will go about establishing itself in Europe once the American service launches - currently timetabled to happen before the end of this year. He also confirmed that it would do things differently than in the US, seeing as how Europe is a completely different beast:

“There is an opportunity for us at Waymo to experiment here in Europe, with different products and maybe even with different go-to-market strategies. It’s possible we will take a very different approach here than we would in the U.S.”

Apparently Waymo officials have been spending time in Europe to better understand the differences between it and the US, including how regulations differ. Krafcik also noted that because the brand isn't as well known outside the US, it may partner with a more established company. Uber comes to mind, but something tells me that's not likely to happen - ignoring the fact Uber has its own self-driving ambitions.

There's no timeline on when the company is likely to make the jump to this side of the Atlantic, or which European countries it'll start working in, but it is nice to know that we could see a proper self-driving taxi service launch in the not to distant future. [Reuters]