California Public Utilities Commission approves Waymo expansion plan

Waymo can expand its robotaxi service to the Peninsula and Los Angeles, state regulators said Friday. NBC Bay Area is reporting.

The company’s driverless ride-hailing operations launched last year in San Francisco.

“We’re grateful to the CPUC for this vote of confidence in our operations, which paves the way for the deployment of our commercial Waymo One service in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Peninsula,” a Waymo spokesperson said in a statement. “As always, we’ll take a careful and incremental approach to expansion by continuing to work closely with city officials, local communities and our partners to ensure we’re offering a service that’s safe, accessible and valuable to our riders. We’re incredibly grateful for the riders and community partners who have supported our service to date — including more than 15,000 rides thus far in LA — and we’re looking forward to bringing the benefits of fully autonomous ride-hailing to more people.”

In February, the California Public Utilities Commission suspended Waymo’s requests to expand in San Mateo and Los Angeles counties amid concerns from local leaders about the safety of driverless vehicles.

David Canepa, vice president for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, released the following statement on Friday:

“I thought CPUC gave us 120 days to sit down with Waymo and discuss our concerns here in San Mateo County. I’m confused and a bit suspicious that the CPUC took only 11 days to change its mind on the suspension. I find this to be egregious and disingenuous. We have had no talks to address our concerns and it says to me that neither Waymo nor the CPUC care about local concerns the public safety of our residents. This is why we need SB 915 by state Sen. Dave Cortese to pass in the Legislature. We need some local control over how rob taxis operate in the county because we know our roads and highways the best.”


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