Google’s Waymo gets approval to test self-driving cars on California roads

November 2, 2018

California granted Waymo a-driving car division a permit to test its driverless cars on public roads without a driver present, according to a post by the Google subsidiary Tuesday on Medium.  

Waymo is the first company to receive a permit of this kind from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and comes as a result of new regulations passed in April allowing driverless cars to be tested on public roads.

MORE: Google-Owned Waymo’s self-driving cars go 25,000 miles a day

The company recently crested 10 million autonomous miles on U.S. roads in 25 different cities, and has had autonomous testing set up in Arizona since last year, even partnering with Walmart to deliver grocery orders to customers via self-driving cars.

According to the permit, Waymo’s vehicles can test day and night on city streets, rural roads, and highways as long as the speed limit doesn’t exceed 65 mph, and can be operated under fog and light rain. If a vehicle is in a situation that it cannot understand, it is programmed to come to a stop until it can make a decision on how to proceed.

The ultimate goal is to institute a driverless ride-hailing service for members of the public, similar to the program already launched in Arizona this year. All testing will take place in the San Francisco area first before expanding to other cities.

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