California Grants Approval for Waymo to Expand Driverless Car Services to Los Angeles and San Francisco Peninsula

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California regulators have granted Waymo the green light to extend its fleet of autonomous taxis into Los Angeles and several cities on the peninsula south of San Francisco.

The California Public Utilities Commission gave its nod to Waymo’s proposal to broaden its self-driving taxi services beyond San Francisco, effective immediately. Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., has been running its service in Phoenix since 2020.

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In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Waymo hailed the commission’s decision as an endorsement of its operations, heralding the forthcoming launch of its commercial Waymo One service in LA and the SF Peninsula.

While Waymo’s vehicles have become increasingly familiar on the streets of San Francisco, they’ve faced criticism for occasional abrupt stops causing traffic congestion.

This expansion follows California authorities’ decision to revoke the license of General Motors’ rival robotaxi service due to safety concerns. The service, operated by Cruise, had been involved in a fatal accident in San Francisco where a pedestrian was hit by another vehicle and subsequently pinned under one of Cruise’s driverless cars.

Despite the approval from regulators, officials in San Mateo County and Los Angeles have expressed reservations, calling for more local control over the operations of robotaxis within their jurisdictions.