The Autonomous Green Light

Even though it can feel quite uncomfortable at times, the truth is we just cannot skirt past change in our lives. We must move forward under every given situation and in all honesty, it is only for our own good. You see, as human life is loaded with so much, stopping even for a second can translate into a huge loss. Nevertheless, while we look to explore the maximum, it’s also important to be considerate about our well-being. Hence, to make things easier for ourselves, we would develop some really ingenious tools along the way. Now, calling them ingenious isn’t an exaggeration by any means, but if we look back and reassess the said tools for a second, we’ll notice that none of them were ever good enough to be in technology’s league. This is largely why technology enjoys such a high stature among the modern generation. The creation’s unprecedented abilities have gone above and beyond to make sure that the world had everything at its disposal, as it tries to build a whole new reality. Even after ending up successful here, technology would continue to build upon every initial breakthrough, thus eventually ushering us into times where nothing will seem impossible. Today, we can see the said vision coming to life. In fact, it’s only getting stronger, and that is backed up well by a recent development in Waymo’s camp.

The California Public Utilities Commission has officially allowed Waymo to go ahead and start charging for its autonomous taxi rides in San Francisco. Notably enough, the permit is confined to having a human driver behind the wheel, but the approval is still a big win, considering how long it took Waymo to get here. So far, under the Trusted Tester Program, the company’s robotaxis have provided free testing rides to a limited number of San Francisco residents. All these residents were asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and looking at the available figures, “hundreds” of people actually signed up. With the coveted approval in the bag, though, Waymo is now ramping up preparations to launch a proper robotaxi business over the next few weeks. According to certain reports, the service will be available 24/7.

“We take a step-by-step approach on the path to rolling out our fully autonomous experience to the public,” said Nick Smith, a Waymo spokesperson. “That’s the approach we took in Arizona — deeply rooted in our focus on safety — and it’s the approach we’ll take in any of the cities we operate in going forward.

While the decision will allow Waymo to finally conceive a full-fledged commercial operation, it’s not to say the company hasn’t raked in anything up until now. Last year, following an approval from California Department of Motor Vehicles, the company was able to seek compensation for the services provided by its AV. Keeping that aside; Waymo has been testing the waters of grocery delivery, so the said vertical can also become a mainstay in its mix moving forward.

 

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