San Francisco emerges as the go-to place for robotaxi operations

February 18, 2022 | Case Study

California's Department of Motor Vehicles has approved three companies to commercially deploy autonomous vehicles in the state. Two of them — Cruise and Waymo — work on robotaxis (the other is Nuro, working on last-mile delivery), which are likely the first commercial applications of passenger autonomous vehicles in open public settings. Both companies need additional approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to charge fees for rides. Cruise is allowed to operate its vehicles in certain parts of San Francisco (SF) with no safety drivers between 10 pm and 6 am at speeds of up to 30 mph. Waymo can operate its vehicles at speeds of up to 65 mph in parts of SF and San Mateo and does not have restrictions on the time of day. However, it needs to have safety drivers present. Both Waymo and Cruise may operate their fleets in light rain and fog.

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