Thanks, COVID! Robotaxis Get the Green Light for Paid Rides


The CPUC greenlit two new programs that permit autonomous vehicle drivers to launch their own robotaxis in California.

In charge of establishing regs for AVs in fleet management (i.e., ride-hailing and taxis), the California Public Utilities Commission has been working on the new guidelines for a few years now. The two latest programs — the Driverless Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program and the Driver Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program — “allow participants to offer passenger service, shared rides, and accept monetary compensation for rides in autonomous vehicles,” the commission spoke in a statement.

Presently, 60 companies possess an active permit to exam self-directed vehicles with a safety operator in California. 5 companies — Waymo, Cruise, AutoX, Zoox, and Nuro  — wield an extra permit that lets them test amply driverless automobiles on public roads minus human safety operators behind the wheel. In the US right now there is only a fistful of paid self-driving cab services; Motional, Aptiv, and Lyft have completed nearly 100,000 excursions in Las Vegas over the last few years. Aside from that, the bulk of AVs on the streets are either functioning in a testing-only throughput or conducting deliveries.

“This long-awaited agency action will allow Waymo to bring our fully autonomous Waymo One ride-hailing service to our home state over time,” Chang said in a statement. “The CPUC’s decision comes at a key time as we bring more of our latest technology to San Francisco and look forward to putting our Waymo Driver to use in service to Californians,” says Waymo’s Annabel Chang. Establishments who desire to set robotaxis in motion will be mandated by the CPUC to submit quarterly reports.


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