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GM secures permit to operate self-driving cars in San Francisco

GM secures permit to operate self-driving cars in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, California: After overcoming objections by city officials this week, General Motors subsidiary Cruise became the first company to secure a permit to charge passengers for self-driving car rides in San Francisco.

In San Francisco, self-driving test cars with human safety drivers have become a constant sight, while completely driverless cars are increasingly common, too.

The launch of the self-driving car business in a major American city will be a milestone in the long delayed journey toward driverless taxi services.

The permit was the final hurdle in California for Cruise, which said it would launch paid services within weeks, using up to 30 driverless Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles.

Late this week, the California Public Utilities Commission approved Cruise’s permit by a vote of 4-0.

During the meeting, Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen said, “This resolution marks another important step in that effort. It will allow our staff to continue to gather very important data that will support the development of future phases.”

Cars will not be allowed on highways or to travel during times of heavy fog, precipitation or smoke. They will also be limited to a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour (48 km per hour), and restricted to an area that avoids downtown and operating hours from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Disability and business groups have expressed support, and staff for the state commission said Cruise’s proposal reasonably protects passenger safety.

However, San Francisco fire, police and transit officials, citing concerns that unusual behavior by the cars could result in bodily harm, encouraged state regulators to impose restrictions before allowing Cruise to carry passengers, and recommended requiring further approval before adding more cars.

Source: www.bignewsnetwork.com

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