Cruise recently received a permit to transport passengers in its autonomous vehicles in California. Granted by the California Public Utilities Commission, the permit is part of the state’s Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service pilot.
As part of the program, Cruise must provide data and reports to the CPUC regarding any incidents, the number of passenger miles traveled and passenger safety protocols. Cruise must also have a safety driver behind the wheel and not charge passengers for rides.
”As we move closer to launch we want the opportunity to put top candidates, partners and media into the vehicles and this pilot allows us to do that,” according to Cruise.
Cruise is now one of five self-driving companies allowed to participate in this program. The others are Zoox, Waymo, Pony.ai, Aurora and AutoX. This program is a bit different from the one run by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which has granted 66 companies permits to test their respective vehicles in the state.
Cruise originally aimed to launch its robotaxi service last year, but it scrapped those plans last July due to technical challenges, and the creation of a vehicle platform and the ride-hailing app itself. At this point, it’s unclear as to when we can expect to see Cruise deploy any type of public service.