(AP News, 10/30/18)
The robotic car company created by Google is poised to attempt a major technological leap in California, where its vehicles will hit the roads without a human on hand to take control in emergencies.
The regulatory approval announced Tuesday allows Waymo’s driverless cars to cruise through California at speeds up to 65 miles per hour.
The self-driving cars have traveled millions of miles on the state’s roads since Waymo began as a secretive project within Google nearly a decade ago. But a backup driver had been required to be behind the wheel until new regulations in April set the stage for the transition to true autonomy.
Waymo is the first among dozens of companies testing self-driving cars in California to persuade state regulators its technology is safe enough to permit them on the roads without a safety driver in them. An engineer still must monitor the fully autonomous cars from a remote location and be able to steer and stop the vehicles if something goes wrong.