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Waymo Gets Green Light for Robot Cars in California; No Humans Needed

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One of Waymo's autonomous vehicles.

Waymo has received a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test its fully autonomous cars on public roads, with no human driver behind the wheel.

Credit: Paul Chinn / The Chronicle

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has granted a permit to self-driving technology development company Waymo to test fully autonomous cars with no human driver on public roads.

The company now will be able to deploy up to 40 self-driving vehicles to drive day and night on urban streets, rural highways, and highways with posted speeds up to 65 miles per hour, without anyone sitting in the driver's seat.

Said Waymo, "We will gradually begin driverless testing on city streets in a limited territory and, over time, expand the area that we drive in as we gain confidence and experience."

The company already had been testing its fleet of 100 driverless cars in California, but with drivers at the ready to assume control in the event of malfunction.

As with other companies’ autonomous vehicles being tested, Waymo's no-driver autonomous cars must have remote operators who can communicate with passengers and send the cars recommendations for how to proceed if their automation becomes confused.

From San Francisco Chronicle
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