Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: Andrei Stanescu via Getty Images

Waymo will test its self-driving taxis on employees in California

With restrictions, of course.
119 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Andrei Stanescu via Getty Images

Self-driving venture Waymo has been given permission by California authorities to transport people in its robotaxis. According to TechCrunch, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) gave Waymo the green light this week, issuing a permit that will allow the company to participate in the state's Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service pilot. This means that Waymo employees will be able to hail a self-driving vehicle and take guests on rides within the company's South Bay territory.

There are some restrictions, of course. Waymo can't charge for these rides, and every vehicle must have a safety driver behind the wheel. Interestingly, the CPUC will allow Waymo to contract out its safety driver operations to a third party -- a decision prompted by Waymo's assessment that operating and scaling a "meaningful pilot" requires a large group of drivers who are "more efficiently engaged." They will still go through Waymo's proprietary driver training program.

This isn't the first milestone for Waymo in its bid to roll out a nationwide service -- the company launched its first commercial ride-hailing offering last year in Arizona, where there's less regulatory red tape for companies to deal with. Nor is this the first permit of its kind to be issued in California -- Zoox scored that accolade in December last year. Nonetheless, the news represents an important advance for Waymo's efforts in the state, where the race is perpetually on to achieve firsts in what is essentially the tech capital of America.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
119 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Judge dismisses Huawei lawsuit against 'unconstitutional' federal ban

Judge dismisses Huawei lawsuit against 'unconstitutional' federal ban

View
Your Google Fit stats are now just a swipe away

Your Google Fit stats are now just a swipe away

View
Alphabet quits work on its energy-generating kites

Alphabet quits work on its energy-generating kites

View
Blue Apron considers selling itself as it bleeds customers

Blue Apron considers selling itself as it bleeds customers

View
The Galaxy Z Flip's hinge fibers aren't enough to keep dust out

The Galaxy Z Flip's hinge fibers aren't enough to keep dust out

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr