Waymo riders most frequently travel to these areas of San Francisco: data

Electric Cars

Alphabet-owned robotaxi company Waymo has been operating driverless ride-hailing services in San Francisco for around six months, and new data shows where riders are going most with the service.

Waymo riders most commonly travel to Hayes Valley, Mission Bay, South of Market, and to the Mission District, according to a report from The San Francisco Chronicle citing data the company is required to report to state regulators. Between September and February, Waymo robotaxis carried over 530,000 passengers around the city, most frequently bringing passengers to job centers like the Financial District, event hubs like the Chase Center, and other areas—especially those with difficult parking situations.

Waymo driverless robotaxi attacked and set on fire in San Francisco

“Those areas definitely resonate with low parking availability and therefore provide a better or an easier way to get around the city versus driving your own cars,” said Aman Nalavade, Waymo group product manager.

Nalavade also says that many of the passengers utilizing Waymo are “power riders” who use the service on an almost daily basis for their work commute, while Friday and Saturday nights remain popular riding nights. In addition, some riders prefer the “private environment” offered by Waymo’s robotaxis for trips to and from medical appointments.

The data also shows that over 12,000 individual rides ended within the census tract in the Mission Bay, though the company has conducted driverless rides in every census tract within the city. Fewer rides were reported to start or end in Bayview, Excelsior, Ingleside and around the Outer Sunset district.

Waymo was approved last month to expand its areas of operation in California, including the launch of Los Angeles services and an expansion into the peninsula of San Francisco. You can see the area in which Waymo is approved to operate in San Francisco below.

Credit: Waymo

Still, public acceptance of robotaxi operations remains hit or miss, especially after a driverless ride-hailing vehicle from General Motors (GM) self-driving unit Cruise hit, dragged and pinned a pedestrian in San Francisco in October. As for Waymo, the company’s expansion could face additional legal barriers, as a recently proposed bill aims to give communities more control over where their robotaxis can legally operate.

The company’s expansions were also contested by the city of South San Francisco, San Mateo County, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, and the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance.

Waymo and Cruise both gained initial approval to conduct commercial rides 24 hours a day with the driverless vehicles from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in August, though the state suspended Cruise’s license immediately following the accident.

The data also arrives ahead of Tesla’s plans to unveil a highly anticipated robotaxi platform in August, as announced by Elon Musk earlier this month.

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Waymo riders most frequently travel to these areas of San Francisco: data

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