The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued permits to self-driving divisions owned by Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) and General Motors Co. (GM) to allow for passenger service in self-driving vehicles with safety drivers present. The self-driving divisions include Waymo and Cruise respectively.
CPUC said that Waymo and Cruise are under ‘Drivered Deployment’ permits authorized to collect fares from passengers and can offer shared rides. Before this announcement, the two had been permitted to provide passenger service only on a testing basis minus fare collection permit.
Following this new permit, Cruise is allowed to provide the Drivered Deployment service on some public roads in San Francisco between 10 pm and 6 am at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
On the other hand, Waymo has been allowed to offer the same services in some parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour. CPUC added that neither of the company is allowed to operate during heavy rains or heavy fog.
Waymo said that it will be putting into use the experience it has gained in operating its autonomous commercial ride hail service in Arizona and apply it in their growing service in San Francisco.
The vice president of Cruise, Prashanthi Rama, termed the announcement as another positive incremental step forward towards their mission of launching a driverless commercial ride hail service in San Francisco.