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EDITORIAL: Ride-hailing service likely to be first adopters of self-driving vehicles

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While ride-hailing is clearly emerging as first commercial use of self-driving vehicles, initial deployment is expected to be at a low scale and limited to some restricted areas

Earlier in January this year, Waymo received a permit from the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT) in the United States to operate as a transportation network company (TNC), paving the way for Alphabet’s self-driving subsidiary to start its own self-driving ride-hailing service. The regulatory approval made Waymo the first company in the United States to become legally eligible to commercially deploy its self-driving vehicles in a ride-hailing service. Waymo’s fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be able to pick up and drop off riders in Phoenix, Arizona using a smartphone app, as with other ride-sharing service providers such as Uber and Lyft.

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