Waymo to focus on ride-hailing services, pushes back autonomous trucking efforts


FILE PHOTO: A Waymo rider-only robotaxi is seen during a test ride in San Francisco, California, U.S., December 9, 2022. REUTERS/Paresh Dave/File Photo

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Waymo is focusing on its ride-hailing service, Waymo One, while pushing back its efforts to develop commercial autonomous trucking technology, the self-driving unit said on Wednesday.

Autonomous driving software has come under strong regulatory scrutiny at a time when investors are concerned about heavy investments in the technology amid protracted development timelines.

The company said it is seeing significant growth and demand for ride-hailing services in San Francisco, Phoenix and Los Angeles, and is focusing on achieving commercial success in the business.

Waymo said it will continue its collaboration with strategic partner Daimler Truck North America to take its autonomous trucking platform forward.

"Laser-focusing on ride-hailing today puts us, our partners, and our customers in a strong position to be successful in the future across all of the business lines we pursue over time," the company said.

The unit's Waymo Driver technology is used in a variety of use cases, from ride-hailing to trucking.

"We continue to see a significant future commercial opportunity for our trucking solution alongside other commercial applications of the Waymo Driver," Waymo said.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)

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