At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
The streets of San Francisco are about to embrace the future. The California Public Utilities Commission has unanimously approved a plan for General Motors' fleet of Cruise driverless taxis to start charging riders for trips around the city. The decision will make San Francisco the first major U.S. city to have a commercial driverless ride-hailing service. The autonomous vehicles will operate without the assistance of any back-up drivers.
Despite the unanimous support, the Commission has put some limitations on the autonomous ride-hailing system, with a maximum of 30 vehicles allowed to operate between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am in certain areas of San Francisco. The busiest parts of the city remain off-limits, and the fleet can only operate in good weather – no heavy rain, fog, snow, sleet, hail, or smoke. The maximum speed is capped at 30 miles per hour (48.3 km/h). The driverless taxis are electric Chevrolet Volts, and have already been providing free rides to San Francisco passengers since early 2022.
All hail the driverless taxi:
- In suburban Chandler, Arizona, located near Phoenix, Waymo has been operating a commercial driverless ride-hailing service since October 2020.
- Cruise has its sights set on Dubai as its first international market.
- Cruise plans to eventually switch its self-driving vehicle model to the Origin, currently in development, which has more passenger seating and no gas pedal or steering wheel.