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Waymo will start ride-sharing service this month

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Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) subsidiary Waymo is launching a commercial ride-sharing service this fall, a report in online publication The Information claims. According to the report, the first passengers for the service will be picked up some time later this month in Phoenix, Arizona. The internet giant is leveraging its partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCAU), announced last year, for the service. Instead of equipping the cars with human drivers at the wheel for safety purposes, the vehicles will be monitored remotely.

Waymo is busy ironing out the final kinks in the service. In a Medium blog post last month, a Google engineer highlighted problems experienced by self-driving vehicles when taking left turns in five-lane intersections. But a Waymo spokesperson told CNBC that its cars can turn left “at all types of intersections.” As reported on the same site, Waymo has also filed for patents related to self-driving technology. (See also: Waymo May Have New Partner for Self-Driving Car Tech.)

The market for self-driving cars is estimated to reach $87 billion by 2030. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas estimates that shared mobility services will comprise 26% of overall miles traveled by 2030, stressing that self-driving vehicles will become an integral part of the ride-sharing industry.

Several companies are already entering the market for shared mobility services. For example, Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) has already teased the prospect of a shared mobility service that enables owners to finance their autonomous electric vehicles by loaning them out for ride-sharing when they are not being used. For its part, Alphabet has already invested in Uber Technologies Inc., which has embarked on developing a similar ride-sharing service. Furthermore, Alphabet is said to be considering an investment in Lyft, which also has plans for such a service. (See also: Tesla Could Be ‘Living Room on Wheels’ With Music Streaming.)

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