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California paves way to let self-driving taxis charge for rides

Operators will need permits which could take months to obtain

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Regulators in California have given the go ahead for self-driving taxis to charge riders for their services.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved two programs: the Drivered Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program and the Driverless Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program, The Verge reports.

According to the report, these programs now permit self-driving taxi operators to “offer passenger service, shared rides, and accept monetary compensation for rides in autonomous vehicles.”

[Read: Neural’s market outlook for artificial intelligence in 2021 and beyond]

As part of the programs, companies that launch self-driving taxi services will need to submit quarterly reports to the CPUC to disclose anonymized information about how they’re operating. This would include details on journeys, accessibility, engagement with disadvantaged communities, and fuel type.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. We’re not going to see swathes of self-driving taxis start billing their passengers overnight.

Taxi operators that want to commercialize their business will have to apply for relevant permits and those are expected to take months to process and approve.


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Published November 24, 2020 — 09:45 UTC