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Waymo CEO John Krafcik, left, sits with Steve Mahan, who is blind, inside a driverless car during a Google event. Photo: Eric Risberg / AP

Alphabet's autonomous car company, Waymo, plans to announce later today that "its first commercial product will be a driverless taxi service" in Phoenix, according to Ars Technica.

Why it matters: Car companies like Volvo, BMW, Tesla, and more have been racing to be the first provider of fully autonomous vehicles. Google decided that instead of selling autonomous vehicles, it would "build a taxi service" designed to be driverless. The service will initially navigate only a part of Phoenix's metropolitan area, per Ars Technica, and eventually expand elsewhere. Waymo chose Phoenix because of its frequent warm and sunny weather which is easier for autonomous cars to navigate

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
10 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.