Do you remember how our elders used to predict flying cars in the future? Though we’re still far from that. But hey, driverless taxis are the latest talk of the town! And no, we’re not talking about Tesla.
Instead, companies like Waymo and Cruise are on a mission to change the future of automation in San Francisco! Both companies have joined hands to offer both taxis around the clock. But the general public is not ready to bless the new couple! However, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has sided with the companies, and they’ve got a lot to say too!
So, if this all sounds interesting, continue reading the blog till the end while we address the ongoing verbal battle in detail!
Waymo & Cruise: Who Are They?
Waymo is a company with self-driving technology. They are working on creating cars that can drive themselves without needing a driver. Waymo is also part of Alphabet Inc., i.e., a parent company of Google. And they have been working on this project for a while now, with success, of course.
Cruise is also a company that focuses on self-driving cars. Initially founded in 2013, the firm is owned by General Motors (GM). Further, Cruise is also trying to get on board with the idea of driverless cars.
The Mutual Mission
So far, both Waymo and Cruise have tested their self-driving cars on actual roads and are happy with the results. In the case of safety measures and precautions, they used sensors, cameras, and software to avoid any mishaps.
The overall idea is to make things as easy as they can be without any human involvement.
Waymo X Cruise: A New Duo In San Francisco!
So, the exciting news is self-driving vehicle companies, Waymo and Cruise are about to finalize their deal of charging entire fares for their robot taxis riding throughout San Francisco.
This is a great initiative for the advancement of autonomous transportation. And both companies are ready to expand their services and keep up with the futuristic tech era. Thus, it’s possible to say your dream of traveling in a driverless car is becoming a reality!
The Objections From The General Public
Sadly, not everyone is on board with the idea. So, here’s a brief on objections raised by the residents of San Francisco;
- Risk of malfunctioned taxies and accidents
- High fares and increased peak factors
- Disruptive traffic flow
- Blocking public transport and emergency vehicles
- Case studies of AVs making unplanned stops, taking wrong routes, and interfering with emergency vehicles
- AVs eliminating general cars and human drivers
Here’s What CPUC Has Said
Though getting the permit seemed impossible for Waymo and Cruise at first. But the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has given them the green signal.
Earlier, CPUC released two draft resolutions to both companies for expanding their services and operating at any time of the day.
However, it’s clear that the citizens of San Francisco are not happy with this green signal. Further, they have reported several cases of Cruise’s EVs causing accidents. Overall, the city wants the government agency to be careful with their decision.
In response, the CPUC disagrees with the city’s objections. According to them, such concerns have already been cleared. And the authority to allow such cars resides with California DMV. Thus, allowing or restricting permits was never their call to make.
Stakeholders Have Also Sided With Waymo And Cruise
Waymo and Cruise also received support from other groups and individuals during this verbal battle. The list includes the American Council of the Blind, the technology industry, and local businesses. These groups believe the innovation of EVs will benefit the community.
Current Permits & Services Of The Companies
Cruise has some permits that allow them to do certain things in the city. Right now, they can offer a passenger fare service from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. But it’s only available in a few areas. However, their other driverless service can be used at any time of the day!
Waymo has regular taxi services in the city. But the difference is that they have a human safety driver in the car in case anything goes wrong. They want to make sure everyone feels safe and secure during their rides.
Furthermore, Waymo also has something really exciting. They offer a fully autonomous service. And guess what? It’s free too! But right now, the free service is only available in San Francisco.
The Temporary Setbacks
While the CPUC’s decision to allow fare charges is a step forward. It doesn’t mean Waymo and Cruise will start offering services in San Francisco right away. Still, they need to be sure of all safety measures.
Further, despite the promising plans, Cruise hasn’t provided exact details about its expansion in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Waymo is already operating in SA with a human-safety driver.
Self-driving cars have a chance to change the way we travel. They can make our roads safer, reduce traffic jams, and help people who can’t drive.
Though companies like Waymo and Cruise are at the forefront of this technology. They still need to ensure every concern is resolved. And with the CPUC helping them out, it appears driving a driverless car isn’t a dream anymore.
Overall, it’s exciting to think about a future where we can sit back and relax while the car drives itself to its destination.