Waymo, the driverless-car company that was spun out of Google, has pushed farther ahead in self-driving cars than any of the automakers or other technology companies trying to pioneer the field.

It has been working on its software, sensors and other gear for nine years. It has 600 or more test vehicles operating in at least four cities around the country. Its vehicles have racked up more than five million miles of testing on public roads.

Now, even as a cloud hangs over driverless-car testing after a rival’s fatal crash, Waymo is vowing to shift its operations into overdrive. In the next two years, it intends to put thousands of self-driving cars on the road in selected cities to ferry not its own engineers but ordinary people from place to place.

In Phoenix, where it plans to introduce the service first, Waymo predicts it will carry paying customers almost anywhere they want to go in an area covering 100 square miles, the company’s chief executive, John Krafcik, told reporters Tuesday on the eve of the New York International Auto Show.

Waymo plans to use the battery-powered Jaguar I-Pace for its driverless ride service.Credit…Joshua Bright for The New York Times

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