California (San Francisco): Regulatory bodies in California gave green signal to a reputed robotic taxi or Autonomous Taxisservice company in San Francisco. The CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) declared that General Motors-owned Cruise is expected to introduce its driverless taxi service in San Francisco despite various safety concerns from the company’s ability to drop off and pick up passengers at the curb. The company will be operating in less congested places and will consist of only around 30 cars in San Francisco.
The move came in after a large number of trials were conducted by reputed firms, such as Uber in the United States. Experts predict that driverless taxis are likely to become one of the major forms of transportation in the forthcoming years. So, the next time residents of San Francisco call a cab, they can simply step into the taxi with no one behind the steering wheel. Though driverless taxis are now allowed in the city, it does come with certain conditions.
Officials associated with the CPUC initiated votes to grant a new permit to Cruise. The regulatory body has allowed the self-driving vehicle subsidiary of General Motors to charge passengers for rides in its newly developed autonomous fleet, without a human driver in the car.
Though the company has bagged the permit, its autonomous taxis are not fully free to roam around the streets of San Francisco as they please. The regulatory body has put forward numerous stringent norms to control the same.
In its norms, the CPUC mentioned that Cruise will have the authority to charge for its rides between 10 pm to 6 am in those areas that are located in the outskirts of the busy downtown area. As weather conditions are also considered to be a crucial factor, the CPUC mentioned that driverless taxis will not operate under heavy snow, smoke, fog, or rain in San Francisco, as well as whenever these harsh weather conditions are predicted. It further declared that shared taxi service will not be allowed in driverless cars and only those people that are in the same party can hop into the car.
Future Announcements & Approach
With this new launch, Cruise is planning to come up with more driverless cars in future years, with an increasing focus on offering a safe and magical service to passengers. The company’s cutting-edge technology is made up of a blend of cameras and sensors installed into a Chevrolet Bolt, which is a complete electric car manufactured by General Motors.
Moreover, Cruise has announced that it is aiming to develop a car of their own and it will be called the Cruise Origin. The Origin will lack a steering wheel, mirrors, and pedals. At the same time, it would include a sitting space resembling the back of a limousine where passengers can sit comfortably by facing each other.
It is yet unknown how the driverless taxi service will play out in San Francisco. However, Cruise is aiming to gain popularity in the city, if not success.
Andy Roberts is a seasoned journalist with nearly 9 years experience. While studying journalism at Ryerson, Annie found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to White Pine Tribune, Annie mostly covers provincial and national developments..