Alphabet’s self-driving company Waymo gets permission to transport passengers in self-driving cars in California. Waymo is now part of California’s Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service pilot program, joining Autox Technologies, Pony.ai, and Zoox.
On Tuesday, The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) granted Waymo a permit to participate in the state’s Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service pilot.
The permit, which was granted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requires a Waymo safety driver to be behind the wheel and doesn’t allow Waymo to charge riders. Waymo must also need to provide safety protocols and total passenger miles traveled to CPUC. The permit is valid for three years.
The CPUC also gave Waymo permission to contract out its safety driver operations to a third party after the company argued that scale would require third-party staffing. However, the drivers will still go through Waymo’s training program.
“The CPUC allows us to participate in their pilot program, giving Waymo employees the ability to hail our vehicles and bring guests on rides within our South Bay territory,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “This is the next step in our path to eventually expand and offer more Californians opportunities to access our self-driving technology, just as we have gradually done with Waymo One in Metro Phoenix,” Techcrunch reported.
Apart from Waymo, four other companies including AutoX, Pony.ai, Waymo, and Zoox got permission from CPUC.