Alphabet’s GOOGL Waymo is leaving no stone unturned to expand its fleet operations across the United States.
This is evident from its latest multi-year partnership with Uber Technologies UBER to offer an autonomous driving experience to the latter’s customers in Phoenix, AZ.
Uber, which offers the ride-sharing service, strives to infuse Waymo’s autonomous driving technology into its operations on the back of this partnership.
Further, the deal is likely to aid Waymo in expanding its customer reach in Arizona, on the heels of Uber’s strong and huge customer base.
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Waymo’s Expansion Efforts
The latest move bodes well for Waymo’s growing efforts toward reaching out to more customers on the back of its robust driverless technology and expansion efforts.
Moreover, it is in sync with the company’s deepening focus in Phoenix.
The company recently expanded the operating area of Waymo One in the city, which now includes rides to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Further, Waymo’s effort to expand its operations to downtown Phoenix remains noteworthy. It also rolled out a rider-only service in downtown Phoenix.
Apart from Phoenix, Waymo’s expansion to San Francisco, CA, on the back of its Early Rider program called Trusted Tester is a major positive. Notably, this marked its first expansion outside Phoenix.
Furthermore, Waymo recently started testing its self-driving vehicles on the streets of Bellevue, WA. This marked Alphabet’s second Waymo expansion outside Phoenix, AZ.
Apart from these efforts, Alphabet’s partnership with Geely, a China-based automotive company, remains noteworthy. Per the terms of the deal, Geely’s electric mobility brand, Zeekr, will design and develop electric vehicles for Waymo, into which Waymo Driver will be integrated.
The vehicles will be introduced on the roads of the United States first. With the Geely partnership, Waymo will expand its Waymo One fleet.
Growth Prospects & Competitive Scenario
The above-mentioned endeavors will help Alphabet further penetrate the booming autonomous driving space.
According to a Fortune Business Insights report, the global autonomous car market is expected to reach $11.03 billion by 2028, witnessing a CAGR of 31.3% between 2021 and 2028.
Per a report by Mordor Intelligence, the worldwide driverless vehicle market is expected to see a CAGR of 18.06% between 2021 and 2026.
Additionally, expanding Waymo’s efforts will continue to strengthen Alphabet’s competitive position against its peers like Amazon AMZN and Baidu BIDU which are also making every effort to capitalize on the growth prospects in the autonomous driving space.
Amazon’s buyout of Zoox, a developer of autonomous ride-hailing vehicles, remains a major positive. Further, the company’s launch of its first self-driving robotaxi strengthened its position in the autonomous driving space.
Zoox has been testing its autonomous vehicles in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Foster City. It intends to open an engineering office and operations facility this year, which will act as a base for its autonomous vehicle testing.
Meanwhile, Baidu is gaining from the strong momentum of the Apollo Go Robotaxi service across China on the back of its increasing availability in several cities and a growing number of rides.
Apollo Go is available in ten cities, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Changsha, Cangzhou, Yangquan, Wuzhen Water Town and Wuhan.
Nevertheless, Alphabet’s growing autonomous driving initiatives are likely to help it stay ahead of the curve.
Currently, Alphabet carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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