Waymo Preparing to Open Additional Tech Service Center in Arizona

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【Summary】In an effort to keep up with its tremendous growth, Waymo announced that it will open a technical service center in Mesa, Arizona that will measure in at 85,000 square feet.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Mar 22, 2019 6:00 AM PT
Waymo Preparing to Open Additional Tech Service Center in Arizona

It's no secret that Waymo has been awfully busy testing its autonomous vehicles in Arizona. The self-driving company set up camp in the Phoenix area in 2016, and has been using the location as a sort of headquarters for its autonomous technology. In an effort to keep a spot toward the top of the autonomous list, Waymo announced that it would be opening an additional technical service center in Arizona.

Why The Expansion?

In a blog post, Waymo outlined the new tech service center. The 85,000 square-foot center will be built in Mesa, Arizona and will allow the company to expand its fleet of driverless fleet of self-driving cars. In Waymo's own words, the new tech center will "more than double our capacity to service, maintain and grow our fleet of Waymo One cars and, over time, help us expand our team to employ up to hundreds more local Phoenicians." 

Despite sounding like a massive undertaking, 85,000 square feet isn't exactly small, Waymo believes it will have the facility open later this year. Waymo already has a 60,000-square-foot center in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, which will remain and continue to be operational. 

Remaining in Arizona isn't a difficult decision for Waymo, despite the terrible incident involving a pedestrian and one of Uber's autonomous cars last year. As we outlined last January, Arizona's warm weather, relaxed regulations on autonomous vehicles, and large expanses of private roads make it the ideal spot for technology companies to test their self-driving cars. 

"Metro Phoenix offers everything we need to continue building safe and reliable self-driving technology: a large area with broad, yet complex, city streets; a wide-spread suburban population that relies heavily on vehicle transport; and of course, lots of gorgeous sunny days for driving while we also invest in further weather testing," states Waymo. 

How Will The New Center Help Waymo?

According to TechCrunch, Waymo currently has 600 vehicles in its global fleet. If the new facility allows the company to double its cars, having 1,200 driverless vehicles on the road is a possibility. Though, it's not one that pedestrians of Arizona will like, as dealing with autonomous vehicles in the state has become an irksome matter. 

At the end of last year, Waymo came out with a paid ride service called Waymo One. The service gives consumers the ability to get a ride in one of the company's autonomous vehicles with a human driver behind the wheel just in case something goes wrong. When the service was launched, it was only available to a select few residents – 400 in total – that were prescreened beforehand. 

At the time of the introduction of Waymo One, the company said the eventual goal was to expand the service across the U.S. down the road. With an extra facility to service, maintain, and grow its driverless cars, Waymo sounds like it's gearing up to expand its Waymo One program. 

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