Waymo, formerly known as the Google self-driving car project, is expanding plans to deliver goods using its fleet of autonomous vehicles as well as self-driving class 8 trucks.
The subsidiary of Alphabet is formally launching Waymo Via after saying it has raised $2.25 billion from a group of outside investors. Waymo CEO John Krafcik called it a natural extension of the autonomous drive technology the company has been testing outside of Phoenix.
“We’re opening up routes along the I-10 corridor connecting Arizona, New Mexico and Texas with our class 8 trucks,” he said.
Since its founding as the Google self-driving car project, Waymo’s autonomous vehicle technology has logged over 20 million miles of real world driving and over 10 billion miles of simulated driving.
The company now has a fleet of modified Chrysler Pacifica self-driving vehicles that make up the core of its Waymo One autonomous ride-share program in metropolitan Phoenix. That service, which covers 50-square miles, has Waymo vehicles without a person behind the steering wheel, giving Waymo One members rides in the area.
Krafcik declined to put a valuation on Waymo, as is often the case whenever a company announces a round of fundraising. The $2.25 billion is being put up by a number of investors including Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Mubadala Investment Company, Magna, Andreessen Horowitz and AutoNation.
“Over the course of the next three years, where you’re going to see these cars will continue to expand in Phoenix,” Krafcik said. “You’ll see additional growth in California and I would just say, stay tuned for other future markets for us.”