Waymo One is Alphabet’s autonomous Lyft and Uber competitor that’s already operating in Phoenix, Arizona. Following testing in California, Waymo has now received permission to start charging fares and operate 24/7 in parts of San Francisco and San Mateo.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a “Drivered Deployment” permit to Waymo today that lets its charge fares and allows for shared rides between different groups of passengers in San Francisco.
Those two actions were previously not allowed, but a safety driver is required again until the next phase:
Driverless Deployment: Passenger service on a deployment basis for carriers that hold a DMV Autonomous Vehicle Deployment permit. Driverless, so no safety driver required in the vehicle. Fare collection is permitted. Shared rides may be permitted depending on a carrier’s Passenger Safety Plan.
Waymo can specifically operate in “designated parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties at any time of day or night at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour.” In comparison, GM’s Cruise was granted similar approval but only on “selected public roads in San Francisco between the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.” Neither company can operate in heavy rain or fog.
In the coming weeks, Waymo told us that its existing Trusted Tester program will start offering the paid rides. The Alphabet company touts “hundreds of riders” in SF today with a waiting list of “tens of thousands.” You can sign-up on Android and iOS here.
More on Waymo:
- Future autonomous Waymo EV will be custom built for ride-hailing with no steering wheel
- Waymo vehicle hits a pedestrian in San Francisco, but was in manual mode at the time
- Waymo Via will test autonomous freight deliveries w/ UPS on Class 8 trucks
- Waymo cars are coming to NYC to train the autonomous vehicles, manual driving only for now
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