By Marlize van Romburgh | Silicon Valley Business Journal
Alphabet’s self-driving car division has received approval from the state of Arizona to operate as a transportation networking company, Quartz reported Friday, putting the Mountain View, California-based company in direct competition with ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies.
Alphabet’s Waymo division already offers complimentary test rides in its self-driving minivans in and around Phoenix, but the TNC approval on Jan. 24 seals its status as a direct competitor to Uber and smaller rival Lyft and allows it to start charging for rides rather than offering them for free.
As Quartz explained:
“The application realizes a long-held fear of Uber’s: that Waymo intends not just to build driverless cars, but to operate its own ride-hailing business.”