Chandler, US is piloting AVs
Home to some of Intel’s most advanced chip making facilities—as well as the company’s Advanced Vehicle Lab and AV test fleet—this suburban community of 250,000 people is the epicenter of a fast-growing collection of “offshore” AV pilots in the Phoenix metro area. What is the region’s appeal for AV inventors? It’s close enough to Silicon Valley for day trips, but outside the reach of California regulators, offering Arizona’s laissez-faire approach to AV testing instead.
The first major infusion of AV testing came in December 2016, when Uber staged a dramatic overnight redeployment of a fleet of six self-driving Volvo SUVs that it had been testing in San Francisco. After a standoff with California officials over the company’s failure to seek permission for the pilot, Arizona provided a quick getaway. Then in April 2017, Waymo announced a hunt for 500 families to be “early riders” in four Phoenix suburbs, including Chandler. Over the course of the program, participants will have everyday access to Waymo’s fleet of self-driving minivans, which will be managed by Avis.
2017-11-07: Waymo announces parts of its Phoenix-area AV fleet will operate in full self-driving mode without human attendants. Link
2018-02-17: Arizona grants transportation network company (TNC) status to Waymo, paving the way for launch of public self-driving taxi service. Link