Self-driving car companies have been granted expanded permissions to operate in San Francisco. California regulators support the technology despite local concerns.
The California Public Utilities Commission voted Thursday to allow Cruise, which it majority-owns, to operate
(Stock ticker: GM), and Waymo, is part of parent Google
(GOOGL) to offer paid rides in self-driving vehicles around the city at all hours of the day, with an unlimited number of vehicles.
Self-driving cars are popping up in more cities in the US, but as they become more widespread, so do concerns about their safety. San Francisco officials have opposed expanded self-driving permissions, but the statewide commission has authority over passenger transportation.
“While we don’t yet have the data to judge autonomous vehicles (AVs) against the standards set by human drivers, I believe in the potential of this technology to increase safety on the road,” CPUC Commissioner John Reynolds said in a statement.
Fully self-driving cars are expected to eventually be big business — General Motors believes they could generate $80 billion in annual sales by 2030 from self-driving software and apps — but they are losing projects for now. General Motors shares were flat in pre-Friday trading
Shares fell 0.2%.
General Motors and Alphabet aren’t the only companies looking to capitalize on the growth of self-driving cars.
TSLA vehicles currently require driver supervision, but CEO Elon Musk has said repeatedly that the company eventually wants to build robotaxis.
(AMZN) is also expanding into the space with its Zoox business.
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