SAN FRANCISCO – General Motors Company’s Cruise and Alphabet Inc.’s Wemo self-driving car subsidiaries have become the first companies in California to receive autonomous vehicle permits for passenger rides.
Cruise has received permission from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to provide driverless rides to passengers at night in parts of San Francisco and has received a permit from the Wyomo regulator to deploy automatic vehicles with safety drivers behind the wheels.
The DMV said it would allow commercial services for companies, but said passengers would need to get another permit from the California Public Utilities Commission to start charging for the ride.
Another company, Nuro, was allowed to set up a California self-driving installation last year, but it was for delivery of goods, not for passenger boarding.
The DMV of California says the new permit will allow Cruise to drive his car “within certain parts of San Francisco” between 10pm and 6am at a maximum speed of miles0 miles per hour.
The DMV said Waimo vehicles with a safety driver behind the wheel were “allowed to travel on public roads between San Francisco and parts of San Meto County with a speed limit of no more than 65 miles per hour.”
The two companies have conducted growing experiments in San Francisco, using Cruise GM’s electric bolt EV vehicles and driving the Wemo Jaguar All-Electric Jaguar i-Pass SUV.
Wemo began public testing in San Francisco in August, with a backup driver behind the wheel. In a limited suburban area of Arizona, Wemo offers paid, driverless rides through its app.
Wemo wrote on Twitter on Thursday that its “new permission will help us build our efforts to bring AV technology to many more CA residents.”
Self-driving startups are frustrated with the commercialization of expensive technology and the raising of new funds, after missing their pre-deployment deadlines due to technical hurdles.
Cruz, which also counts Softbank and Honda as investors, raised a new 2.75 billion from investors like Walmart earlier this year, and Wemo raised 2.5 2.5 billion this year.
In May, Reuters reported that Cruz and Waimo had applied for California DMV approval earlier this year to deploy their self-driving vehicles in San Francisco, setting the stage for the biggest test of technology in a dense urban environment.
By Hyunju Jin, Jane Lanhi Lee and Paresh Dave
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times