Waymo, a company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, has announced a tour in Los Angeles that will give curious residents the chance to drive fully autonomous vehicles.

Waymo says it’s doing a several-week trial in LA neighborhoods where people can drive a self-driving car without anyone sitting in the front seat. Those interested can buy an early ticket or register on the waiting list. With the ticket, riders can use Waymo’s fully driverless vehicles in the service area for free for one week during a designated time period.

This is the first time Waymo has adopted a tour model as a precursor to commercial service. Waymo says it plans to partner with local businesses and community organizers at each stop to make a good impression on local residents. In the San Francisco area, robo-taxi companies have faced opposition from city officials, citing blocked intersections and obstructed emergency vehicles.

Waymol has been mapping the streets of LA since at least 2019, but preparations for a commercial service only began in recent months.

For Waymo, L.A. represents its biggest market to date: a metropolitan area of ​​13 million people with criss-crossing freeway on-ramps, narrow streets, lots of unprotected left turns, dazzling sunsets along east-west roads and plenty of messy roads. The company has previously estimated that the LA market is worth about $2 billion.

Source: The Verge