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Waymo given the go ahead to begin driverless pilot program in California

Autonomous vehicle startup Waymo can now provide driverless rides in San Francisco, The Verge reports. Waymo has been granted permission to take part in the California Public Utilities Commission’s driverless pilot program. All Waymo has left to do is obtain the CPUC’s driverless deployment permit to begin offering its robotaxi services fully.

The state of California requires companies to obtain a series of permits from both the CPUC and the department of motor vehicles before they’re able to charge passengers for robotaxi rides. Waymo has been testing its vehicles for several years and, in March 2022, started charging for rides with a human safety driver present. 

The goal of this is to grow the city, and in Phoenix, Arizona, efforts have already been made to increase the availability of completely autonomous robotaxi services. The company’s AVs can now pick up and drop off customers in San Francisco, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale thanks to Waymo’s clearance.

The CPUC claims that Waymo’s rides are always available, day or night, and have a top speed of 65 mph. While AVs frequently have trouble operating in poor weather, Waymo is aiming to change this by gathering information about various situations and utilizing it to guide the driverless system. As a result, Waymo has become the second AV business to participate in California’s driverless pilot program.

Waymo’s efforts appear to be making progress, but they are still not permitted to charge for these rides. Waymo has had trouble securing the many permits needed for charging, which is a problem. Conversely, Waymo has already received clearance from the DMV earlier this week to begin making a profit from robotaxi rides.

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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