Cruise gets approval to operate driverless robotaxis from California DMV, Waymo still required to have safety drivers

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has given Cruise the green light to publicly operate robotaxis without a safety driver behind the wheel.

On Thursday, the company backed by General Motors (GM) received the necessary permit to offer driverless rides, but it comes with a number of restrictions.

The driverless robotaxis can only operate at night between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am at a maximum speed of 30mph (48km/h). The robotaxis can also only operate in certain parts of San Francisco.

News of the permit approval was first shared on Twitter by Kyle Vogt, Co-Founder, President & CTO at Cruise.

This is the first step in a two part process before the company can officially begin charging customers for autonomous taxi rides.

Related: Waymo and Cruise apply to begin autonomous taxi service in San Francisco

For that Cruise still requires approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), a process which has no current timeline to completion.

Waymo has also received a similar permit, but are still required to have a safety driver behind the wheel, according to a report from Reuters.

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