Waymo has extended the partial suspension of its autonomous vehicle service pilots to include fully driverless vehicle testing, the company confirmed on Friday. While Alphabet-owned Waymo had already stopped operation of the autonomous driving vehicles in its fleet that have safety drivers on board, in the interest of minimizing the potential spread of coronavirus, it was still going to go ahead with rides in its fully driverless test vehicles.
These fully driverless vehicles are used in its Phoenix pilot program for public ride-hailing customers, as well as for its local delivery services. The company’s decision to cease even these operations likely reflects the consistently heightened nature of the COVID-19 situation in the U.S., which has resulted in increasingly strict travel and working restrictions across various states since Waymo made its original decision on Tuesday.
Along with Waymo, other companies that have paused their AV testing include Cruise, Argo AI, Pony.ai, Uber and others.