Google’s Waymo Driverless Service Looks to Expand to Los Angeles

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Waymo, the autonomous driving unit of Alphabet Inc (Google’s parent company), has expressed its intention to expand its driverless service to Los Angeles. The company has applied to the California Public Utilities Commission for a license that would enable it to operate its autonomous vehicle fleet in the city. Waymo is already extensively operating in San Francisco but is currently testing rides in Los Angeles on an invitation-only basis.

The application to the utilities commission marks a significant step for Waymo to fully operate its autonomous rides in Los Angeles, which happens to be California’s largest city. The company has not disclosed specific details regarding the launch date of its ride-hailing service in Los Angeles but has communicated its collaboration plans with local policymakers, first responders, and community organizations.

Waymo has been actively expanding its autonomous driving services and recently announced plans to test fully autonomous passenger cars without a human driver on freeways in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to Los Angeles, the company aims to operate its autonomous vehicles in Austin, Texas. However, the exact timeline for these expansions remains undisclosed.

It’s worth noting that the autonomous driving industry has faced regulatory scrutiny, leading companies like Waymo to navigate through various challenges. Waymo’s decision to apply for a license in Los Angeles aligns with its commitment to complying with regulatory requirements and ensuring a safe and reliable autonomous driving experience. Other players in the industry, such as General Motors’ Cruise driverless car unit, have also faced operational pauses due to accidents and regulatory concerns.

As Waymo continues to make strides in expanding its autonomous driving services, its collaboration with local authorities and organizations underscores the importance of community engagement and safety considerations in the deployment of driverless technology.


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