January 7, 2020 / 3:13 PM / in 16 days

Waymo self-driving vehicles cover 20 million miles on public roads

FILE PHOTO: Reuters reporter Alexandria Sage steps out of a Waymo self-driving vehicle during a demonstration in Chandler, Arizona, November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Caitlin O’Hara

(Reuters) - Waymo, the self-driving unit of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), said its vehicles had covered more than 20 million miles (32.2 million km) on public roads since its creation in 2009.

“It took us a decade to drive the first 10 million miles but just over one year to complete these last 10 million,” the company said in a statement late on Monday.

Large tech companies, big automakers and well-funded startups have been testing self-driving vehicles, but for the most part real passengers have not been included in the plan.

Waymo, considered a leader in the global race to deploy autonomous vehicles, has begun offering a limited number of fully automated rides for the public without backup drivers in its cars.

Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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