Cruise driverless cars allowed to carry passengers in California
American automaker Cruise has taken a major step toward the commercialization of fully driverless taxi services. The self-driving technology startup, whose main shareholder is General Motors, was given permission on Friday by the California Public Utilities Commission to offer rides to the public in its driverless prototypes on California roads. Cruise is the first company of that state to be given such a permission. But, it won’t be allowed to charge for the rides just yet, and it will need to submit passenger safety plans and quarterly reports about its prototypes. Cruise started testing fully driverless prototypes in California last December, primarily in busy San Francisco.
Cruise’s prototypes rank at Level 4 on the SAE scale of self-driving capability limited in the areas in which they can operate on their own. The final goal is Level 5 (that could be more than a decade away) where a self-driving car is able to operate at the same level as a human driver.