California Clears Cruise & Waymo to Expand 'Robotaxis' In Bay Area

California regulators have cleared Cruise LLC and Waymo LLC to offer San Francisco customers rides in self-driving vehicles at any time of day.

After an hours-long meeting on Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission voted 3-1 to approve permits for Cruise, a unit of Detroit auto giant General Motors, and Waymo, a unit of Google's parent company Alphabet Inc., to launch round-the-clock ride-hailing services to fare-paying passengers in self-driving vehicles throughout San Francisco.

"While we do not yet have the data to judge AVs against the standard human drivers are setting, I do believe in the potential of this technology to increase safety on the roadway," CPUC Commissioner John Reynolds said in a Thursday statement following the vote. "Collaboration between key stakeholders in the industry and the first responder community will be vital in resolving issues as they arise in this innovative, emerging technology space."

Waymo said in a Thursday blog post that the permit marks the true beginning of the company's commercial operations in San Francisco. In the coming weeks, it will begin charging fares for rider-only trips in the city and will gradually welcome more riders to the service.

Read the Law360 article


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