Waymo Gets Californian Public AV Testing Permit

Waymo says it has become the first company to be granted a permit to test fully autonomous vehicles on public roads in California.

The company said the move was enabled by the implementation of new rules from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in April. It added that this will be the first time AVs will be tested publicly in the state at the Level 5 of autonomy, meaning there will be no human back-up driver at the wheel. Waymo has already been testing Level 5 AVs in Phoenix, Arizona since last year.

The program will be limited to certain areas of the Silicon Valley cities of Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, and Mountain View, where the company is headquartered. The company claimed it would notify residents of the affected areas about the program and submit a request to the DMV before it begins. Waymo has apparently been licensed to test AVs on urban roads, rural roads, and highways at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour, in daytime and night-time driving conditions.

It said it plans to begin operating the AVs in city environments, then expand outwards. It claimed the vehicles would come to a halt if they encountered scenarios they did not comprehend, and members of its support team would be contacted.

 

 


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