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Cruise and Waymo Seek Approval for Driverless Service

Cruise and Waymo Seek Approval for Driverless Service

Cruise and Waymo, two of the world’s leading ride-hailing services, are seeking regulatory approval to provide 24-hour passenger transportation in vehicles that do not require a driver. If they are successful in their efforts by the end of the year, San Francisco will become the first city in the United States to have two completely driverless services competing with Uber, Lyft, and traditional taxis.

Cruise has been offering driverless rides to customers at night in less congested parts of San Francisco and has applied for permission to test its robot vehicles at speeds of up to 55 mph throughout California. Waymo, on the other hand, has been providing free rides in driverless vehicles in San Francisco and has been testing its driverless cars in Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the United States.

Despite the success of both companies in having covered more than one million miles without major accidents, there have been some issues. Cruise’s robotaxis have obstructed firefighting efforts and blocked public transportation, causing traffic congestion and obstructing public transportation for a period ranging from nine to 18 minutes. These incidents are currently being investigated by federal regulators.

Waymo, however, expects its experience in operating a driverless ride-hailing service in Phoenix to pay off as it expands to more heavily trafficked cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The expansion of these driverless services poses potential risks to public safety, especially in heavily trafficked areas with unexpected traffic-clogging stops. Both companies will have to overcome these potential roadblocks to ensure public safety and prevent any disruptions that could put travelers at risk.

Despite these challenges, the prospect of having two completely driverless services in San Francisco is an exciting development. It marks a major milestone in the development of autonomous vehicle technology, as well as a significant step forward in the broader trend towards the automation of transportation.

If Cruise and Waymo can navigate the regulatory hurdles and successfully deploy their driverless services in San Francisco, it could set the stage for similar services to launch in other major cities across the United States and around the world. It could also pave the way for a future in which autonomous vehicles become the dominant form of transportation, transforming the way we live and work in ways we can only begin to imagine.

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