By Ashley Palya

Autonomous vehicle companies Cruise by General Motors and Waymo by Alphabet have been permitted to operate in a limited number of cities in California by The California Department of Motor Vehicles.

“The California Department of Motor Vehicles today issued autonomous vehicle deployment permits to Cruise LLC and Waymo LLC, allowing the companies to charge a fee and receive compensation for autonomous services offered to the public,” The California DMV said on Thursday.

The new permit will officially allow people to catch rides with vehicles that are being operated without drivers and only by an operating system.

Cruise vehicles will be fully driverless and are authorized to operate within parts of San Francisco on public roads at a maximum speed limit of 30 mph between 10 p.m and 6 a.m. The company has been testing autonomous vehicles since October 2020.

Waymo vehicles will have a safety driver in the vehicle but will be driverless. The vehicles are authorized to operate within parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties on public roads with a maximum speed limit of 65 mph. Waymo has been testing its autonomous vehicles since October 2018.

Cruise has to wait for one more permit from the California Public Utilities Commission to charge passengers without a safety driver. Waymo will be able to charge passengers for its rides with a safety driver for now.

To receive a permit, the companies had to show proof of safety, insurance, and vehicle registration requirements.

The vehicles must be able to verify that the technology is capable of detecting and responding to roadway situations and can meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. There had to be proof of conducted tests and validation methods for autonomous driving, a plan of how to show law enforcement how to interact with the vehicles, and proof of insurance worth $5 million, according to the California DMV.