The final licence required for autonomous car company Cruise, which is majority owned by General Motors, to provide its driverless taxi service to paying passengers in San Francisco, was issued.
San Francisco residents have become accustomed to seeing driverless test vehicles with human safety drivers, and fully autonomous vehicles are becoming more prevalent. A significant step in the long, sluggish process of developing self-driving taxi service would be turning them into a new business in a significant American metropolis.
Cruise stated in a blog post that the approval made the company the first to run a commercial driverless taxi service in a state and was the first Driverless Deployment Permit ever issued by the California Public Utilities Commission.
The company’s cars are battery-powered and entirely electric, which is also potentially advantageous for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In a letter to CPUC dated April 2021, the company stated that it seeks to lessen greenhouse gas emissions and improve the safety of California’s highways.
The California Public Utilities Commission voted 4-0 to approve Cruise’s permission.
The operating window for Cruise’s self-driving vehicles will be from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., from 10 mph to 30 mph (48 kmph), and outside of downtown. Highways, as well as periods of precipitation, smog, or dense fog, are off-limits for cruise.