Waymo has Received Approval to Expand Robotaxi Service in California

Waymo has Received Approval to Expand Robotaxi Service in California

Key Points:

  • California Public Utilities Commission approves Waymo’s expansion of robotaxi service in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
  • The approval follows a voluntary recall filing by Waymo addressing software issues identified in December incidents in Phoenix.
  • Waymo expresses gratitude for the CPUC’s decision, paving the way for deploying its commercial Waymo One service.
  • Waymo One is the specific service approved for expansion, with testing vehicles already deployed in the designated areas.

Alphabet’s Waymo, a leader in autonomous vehicles, has received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to extend its robotaxi service to select areas of Los Angeles and the Bay Area, as announced on Friday via a notice posted on the regulator’s website.

Effective immediately, according to the release, Waymo is authorized to commence driverless passenger service operations in specified regions of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Peninsula.

The approval follows a recent voluntary recall filing notice by Waymo with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, addressing software issues identified after two incidents in Phoenix in December. In both cases, unmanned Waymo vehicles collided with the same towed pickup truck within minutes.

The CPUC had previously suspended Waymo’s expansion efforts for up to 120 days to allow additional review time. However, the regulator’s decision to approve Waymo’s new proposal was influenced by the company’s updated Passenger Safety Plan and expanded operational design domain, which the California Department of Motor Vehicles greenlighted.

In response to the approval, a Waymo spokesperson expressed gratitude to the CPUC, highlighting the significance of this decision in facilitating the deployment of their commercial Waymo One service in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Peninsula.

Waymo’s progress in California contrasts with setbacks other autonomous vehicle companies in the state face. General Motors-owned Cruise and Apple have exited the autonomous vehicle business in California, while Tesla has yet to develop an autonomous vehicle capable of operating safely without human intervention.

The CPUC’s decision to greenlight Waymo’s expansion places its robotaxi service near Tesla’s Palo Alto engineering headquarters in San Mateo County, highlighting the growing competition in the autonomous vehicle industry. The approval pertains specifically to Waymo One, the company’s commercial ride-sharing service, which has conducted testing in these areas for several years.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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