First self-driving car permit approved
US-based self-driving car startup Zoox has won permission to start offering rides to passengers in California.
The California Public Utilities Commission granted Zoox the first permit to offer rides in autonomous vehicles under a pilot programme.
However, Zoox is not allowed to charge for the service and a backup driver must be present.
Under the program, Zoox will submit information to the commission on the number of passenger kilometres travelled in the test cars, any incidents that occur and any pollution and safety data.
“This is an important milestone on our pathway to deploying a fully autonomous commercial service,” Zoox head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs told TechCrunch.
While more than 60 companies have received permits to test autonomous vehicles in California, they can only carry employees and researchers.
Zoox ultimately aims to commercially deploy autonomous vehicles by 2020 in the form of its own ride-hailing service. The cars themselves will be all-electric and fully autonomous.