Waymo Permitted to Test AVs Without Drivers in Calif.
Nov. 1, 2018—Waymo has received permission to test autonomous vehicles without drivers in California, which could help the Google company take a major technological leap.
The regulatory approval was announced on Tuesday, and, according to FOX News Network, allows Waymo’s driverless cars to cruise through California at speeds up to 65 mph.
The self-driving vehicles have traveled millions of miles on the state’s roads since Waymo began nearly a decade ago. However, a backup driver had been required to be behind the wheel until new regulations were levied in April.
Now, Waymo is the first among several companies testing self-driving cars in California to convince state regulators that its technology is safe enough to be allowed on roads without a safety driver in them. An engineer still must monitor the fully autonomous cars from a remote location, and be able to steer and stop the vehicles if something goes wrong.
Waymo has been giving rides to a group of volunteer passengers in Arizona in driverless cars since last year.
Starting out in California, Waymo will have its fully autonomous, driverless cars strictly give rides to the company’s employees, around towns like Mountain View, Calif, and four small, neighboring cities.