The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved two new apps, which will allow selected robotaxi providers to charge for shared rides in autonomous vehicles.
The ride providers are happy with the decision as it will help them in commercializing the autonomous ride-hailing services.
However, the robotaxi operators will be required to acquire the appropriate licenses from the CPUC and the California Department of Motor Vehicles and meet several other reporting demands before they can start charging money for rides.
They will also have to submit a safety program and quarterly reports to the CPUC with detailed information about pickup and drop-off locations, accessibility and volume of wheelchair available rides, service amounts to disadvantaged communities, fuel type used, miles travelled, passenger kilometers travelled etc.
It turns out that the entire process of getting the necessary permits to begin charging for rides may stretch beyond 2 years which could be a put-off for the potential robotaxi operators.