Waymo is planning on more than doubling their operations in Arizona this year with the building of their new Technical Service Center in Mesa, AZ.
The company believes this will create hundreds of jobs once fully operational, including fleet technicians and operations workers.
Alphabet’s autonomous car subsidiary’s new service center will be 85,000 square feet. It will be significantly bigger than the current garage and operations center in nearby Chandler, AZ. The current center is 60,000 square feet and was built in 2016.
Waymo hopes the new service center will at least double their presence in the cities surrounding Phoenix. This includes Chandler, Mesa, and Tempe, the city of Uber’s fatal autonomous car crash one year ago. The company currently tests their autonomous vehicles in certain “geofenced” regions in these cities.
“Our new Mesa service center gives us the ability to expand our fleet and presence in the region,” said Dezbah Hatathli, the local policy and community manager at Waymo. “The location will allow us to scale and act as another great dispatch location for Waymo One.” Waymo one is Waymo’s paid car service.
While Waymo’s cars have been involved in some accidents, the other cars’ drivers were deemed to be at fault. None of the accidents were nearly as devastating as the one in Tempe.
Waymo’s CEO is confident that Waymo’s technology would have avoided the collision that took a 49-year-old woman’s life.
Mesa’s mayor claims he is comfortable with the safety of Waymo’s vehicles. He participated in a test Waymo conducted in Austin last year.
“It was interesting to see how the sensors identified objects and people, and I felt like I was really flying in a technologically advanced aircraft,” he said. “At some point, you realize it’s just a ride.”
The company has not disclosed how many cars are currently operating in Arizona. However, it has said the majority of the vehicles they operate are in the state. They currently have 600 vehicles operating nationwide.