The California Public Utilities Commission has permitted Waymo to enter California’s Vehicle Passenger Service pilot program. CNET reported that Waymo will be making its way to California as it expands its autonomous ride share services.
In California, Waymo will only give rides to its employees and their guests within a limited service area south of San Francisco in the South Bay area. It may not charge riders, and safety driver must be behind the wheel.
According to CNET, the CPUC website has only granted four companies access to the first tier of the pilot program: AutoX, Pony.ai, Waymo, and Zoox. Waymo is the only company of the four to receive an exemption to use a third party for contracting the safety operator required in every vehicle.
To obtain the permit, the company must already have an AV testing permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which Waymo has had since 2014, CNET reports.
Waymo’s fleet consists of Chrysler Pacific and Jaguar I-Pace vehicles, both of which are outfitted with the hardware and software capable of autonomy, the website adds.
Waymo has yet announced when it will begin operation in California.