- The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Thursday approved permits for both General Motors-backed Cruise and Alphabet’s Waymo, bringing them closer to commercialization.
- Companies were granted autonomous vehicle deployment permits, which allows them to charge fees and receive compensation for autonomous services offered to the public, such as ride-hailing.
California Department of Motor Vehicles Approved Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Permits for GM-backed Cruise and Alphabet’s Waymo on Thursday. It allows companies to charge fees in certain areas and receive compensation for autonomous services offered to the public, such as ride-hailing.
According to the California DMV, companies still need approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, but that means companies are one step closer to providing services to the general public outside of a testing program.
Both companies are testing a fleet of autonomous vehicles in California, which allow free driverless rides to passengers in test vehicles.
Under the new authorization, cruise vehicles can operate on public roads in designated parts of San Francisco between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., including light rain or light fog, but over 30 mph, the department said. Not possible. Waymo can operate its fleet at 65 mph or less, including rain or light fog in parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties.
The commercialization of autonomous vehicles has been far more challenging than predicted a few years ago, but Waymo and Cruise are considered the two frontrunners.
In May, Waymo and Cruise both applied for permits to start charging for rides and delivery. Cruise applied for a security driver not to be present, while Waymo applied to have a safety driver, Reuters reported.
In June, Cruise earned a permit to enable it to offer driverless rides to passengers in test vehicles in California. Waymo opened self-driving car testing to some San Francisco residents last month through a program called “Trusted Tester.”
Since acquiring Cruise in 2016, GM has brought on investors such as Honda Motor, the SoftBank Vision Fund, and most recently, Walmart and Microsoft.
“Today’s approval from the California DMV makes Cruise the first autonomous ride-hail company in the state to receive a driverless deployment permit. It takes us one step closer to achieving our mission of making transportation in cities safer, better and more affordable.” a fleet of all-electric, self-driving and shared vehicles,” Rob Grant, Cruise’s senior vice president of government affairs and social impact, said in an emailed statement to Businesshala.
In December 2020, Nuro became the first autonomous vehicle developer to receive a permit to run commercial deliveries with retail partners.
– Michael Wayland and Lora Kolodny /em>