Human technology

California issues permits to Cruise and Waymo for self-driving vehicle service

WASHINGTON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Monday issued permits to self-driving units of General Motors (GM.N) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) to allow passenger service in self-driving vehicles with safety conductors present.

CPUC said the GM Cruise unit and Alphabet’s Waymo are under a Chauffeur Deployment Authorization authorized to collect fares from passengers and can offer shared rides. Prior to the announcement, Cruise and Waymo had been permitted to provide passenger service only on a test basis, with no fare collection allowed.

Starting Monday, Cruise is authorized to provide “Drived Deployment” service on select public roads in San Francisco between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at speeds up to 30 miles per hour, while Waymo can offer service in parts of San Francisco. and San Mateo counties at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour, CPUC said. Neither company is permitted to operate during dense fog or heavy rain.

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Earlier this month, GM and Cruise asked US regulators for permission to roll out a limited number of self-driving vehicles without human controls like steering wheels or brake pedals.

Waymo said Monday it would take what it learned from operating its standalone commercial hail service in Arizona and apply it “to our growing service in San Francisco.”

Waymo said it had tens of thousands of riders waiting in California after launching a tester program in August. “We will begin offering paid travel through the program in the coming weeks,” the company said.

Prashanthi Raman, Cruise’s vice president for global government affairs, said in a statement that the announcement was “another positive step forward. Our mission has always been to launch driverless commercial transportation service here in San Francisco. , and that is what we will continue to work with our regulators to deliver.

Cruise has not received a response from the CPUC to his request for a driverless deployment permit.

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Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler & Shri Navaratnam

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