The permit allows Waymo's employees and select guests to hail rides from the company's in-development autonomous vehicles (AVs), which continue to require a safety driver to retake vehicle operation when necessary. This announcement should not be seen as an indicator of Waymo's development progress. Validation of any AV's capabilities is far more complex than simply putting people in the vehicle. Auto OEMs are working with the SAE to establish safety practices, and a group of 11 key AV players just published a 157-page safety blueprint outlining verification and validation. Clients should look for highly detailed data about testing (beyond mileage and disengagements) before deciding if an AV company is making progress.
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