Autonomous car

Waymo Is Quietly Winning The Self-Driving Car Race

If actions speak louder than words, the self-driving car company Waymo might as well be shouting.

Waymo, the startup spun off from Google last year, said Monday it will add 500 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans to its fleet, bringing the total number of autonomous vehicles it has on the road to about 600.

The bulk of those additional minivans will operate in the Phoenix area, where Waymo has been quietly operating a test program for select families, with plans to open up its free program to hundreds more for a public trial.

“Over the course of this trial, we’ll be accepting hundreds of people with diverse backgrounds and transportation needs who want to ride in and give feedback about Waymo’s self-driving cars,” CEO John Krafcik explained in a blog post.

“Rather than offering people one or two rides, the goal of this program is to give participants access to our fleet every day, at any time, to go anywhere within an area that’s about twice the size of San Francisco.”

One of…