Waymo Partners With Insurance Company For Self-Driving Cars

Riders entering Waymo’s self-driving cars soon to be launched in Arizona now have a solution to the question of insurance liability. Waymo, the self-driving car company operated by Google’s parent company Alphabet, announced Tuesday that it would pair up with Trov, a technology insurance company based in California, in order to insure the company’s services for passengers.

Trov will insure riders’ property, any interruptions to the trip and any medical expenses associated with accidents in the driverless car. Passengers will not have to sign individual contracts with Trov or pay them directly, as Waymo will own the insurance, according to The Verge.

The self-driving car company, created by Alphabet as a means of putting its self-driving car research to work, intends to launch a taxi-like service in the Phoenix, Arizona area in the early part of 2018 to put their vehicles to the test commercially.

The company will be the first to offer driverless vehicles that don’t have a backup employee sitting behind the car wheel. Waymo has previously operated a small test run in Chandler, Arizona, according to Forbes, with drivers sitting behind the wheels for customers who hailed the service.

Waymo plans on using a collection of Chrysler Pacifica minivans to operate the business in a Phoenix suburb, according to CNET, before it expands to the entire region.

The firm had previously announced other partnerships that would enable it to put its service to work, including a partnership with AutoNation to obtain the vehicles and another with Avid Budget Group to provide service and maintenance to the vehicles Waymo puts on the road, according to Forbes.

According to attorneys specializing in automobile accidents, Waymo has spent much of the past year embroiled in a legal lawsuit with Uber, contending that the taxi service intentionally stole Waymo technology in order to develop its own self-driving cars. Uber most recently landed itself in hot water when a judge discovered a 37-page letter written by a former Uber employee detailing direct instructions and efforts within Uber to obtain trade secrets from Alphabet’s company, according to ArsTechnica.

The taxi company claims that Ric Jacobs, a former employee, was extorting money from the company and made a number of false claims in his letter. The lawsuit began in February, when Waymo claimed that Uber had hired several former Waymo employees for the purpose of obtaining information on the company’s operations.