Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo and General Motors Co.’s Cruise autonomous-driving units are one step closer in their quest to launch their robotaxi services.
The California DMV issued “autonomous-vehicle deployment permits” to Cruise and Waymo on Thursday, allowing the companies to charge a fee and receive compensation for autonomous services offered to the public.
That allows the Alphabet
units to go beyond testing programs but it’s not without restrictions. Commercial “robotaxi” services would also require authorizations from the California Public Utilities Commission.
Thursday’s DMV deployment authorization gives Cruise permission to use light-duty driverless cars on designated parts of San Francisco between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at a top speed limit of 30 mph. The vehicles are allowed to operate in light rain and light fog, the DMV said.
Cruise has had state authority to test autonomous vehicles on public roads with a safety driver since 2015 and authority to test autonomous vehicles without a driver since October 2020, the DMV said.
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Similarly, Waymo is authorized to use a fleet of light-duty AVs for commercial services within parts of San Francisco and neighboring San Mateo county. The vehicles can operate on…