Passengers ride electric Waymo fully autonomous technology in Santa Monica

Alan J. Cockroach | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

alphabetical Waymo’s robo-taxi unit has received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to expand service to parts of Los Angeles and the Bay Area, according to a notice posted on the regulator’s website on Friday.

“Waymo may begin driverless passenger transportation operations in select areas of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Peninsula, effective immediately,” the release said.

In mid-February, Waymo A voluntary recall filing notice was issued to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, indicating that the software issue would be addressed. The recall follows two previously undisclosed incidents in Phoenix on December 11 in which self-driving Waymo vehicles crashed into the same tractor-trailer pickup truck within minutes.

The crashes have heightened concerns about the use of self-driving cars in California. Competing taxi and transportation providers and labor activists fear drivers losing their jobs, while safety advocates have written to regulators and politicians asking them to block Waymo’s expansion in the state.

The CPUC in late February rejected Waymo’s previous proposal to expand its ride-hailing service in Los Angeles and San Mateo counties.

The regulator said in Friday’s letter that it was approving the new proposal in part due to “Waymo’s updated Passenger Safety Plan (PSP), submitted in connection with its expanded Deployment Operational Design Domain (ODD),” which also Approved by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Waymo’s progress in California follows General Motorsowned cruise ships and apple Exited self-driving car business in California, while Musk’s Tesla Self-driving cars that can operate safely without a human driver at the controls have yet to be developed.

California regulators halted operations of the self-driving Cruise robo-taxi in October after a series of accidents, including one in which the robo-taxi ran over a pedestrian who was first struck by a human-driven car , and then was pulled forward about 20 feet by the self-driving car. Cruiser.

Waymo’s new approval allows the company’s robotaxis to operate near Tesla’s Palo Alto engineering headquarters in San Mateo County.

watch: San Francisco crowds burn Waymo

San Francisco crowds burn Waymo self-driving cars

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