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California officials gave Waym...


California officials gave Waymo the green light to expand robotaxis

California Waymo green light robotaxis
The Silicon Review
04 March, 2024

L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn echoed similar sentiments, denouncing CPUC's decision to expand Waymo's operations as "dangerous."

Waymo, the autonomous driving technology company, has recently received approval to extend its service coverage to Los Angeles and San Mateo counties, as announced by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). The CPUC disclosed that it received 81 supportive letters advocating for the expansion of Waymo's driverless taxi service beyond San Francisco, along with five objections. Waymo, formerly recognized as the Google self-driving car project, operates as a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. While the CPUC has granted the green light for expansion, the timeline for the availability of robotaxis in Los Angeles remains uncertain. Waymo has been conducting driverless test drives in San Francisco since 2018 and became one of only two companies authorized to offer paid rides in the city in August.

It commenced testing its driverless white Jaguars in Los Angeles last year, providing residents with an opportunity to trial the service during an invitation-only period. In a statement to USA TODAY, Waymo conveyed its intention to adopt a cautious and gradual approach to expansion, emphasizing collaboration with city officials, local communities, and partners to ensure the safety, accessibility, and value of the service for riders. However, the expansion of Waymo's self-driving taxis has prompted backlash and apprehension among local legislators. San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Canepa criticized the CPUC's decision, labeling it irresponsible. Canepa expressed safety concerns and advocated for enhanced communication with Waymo to address the apprehensions of local stakeholders.