Since April 1st vehicles can drive in California without a driver, even without a person on board. But that so far only theoretically, because for that companies needed a special license. And Waymo is now the first company to receive such a very license from California DMV.
The first test area with include the cities Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Palo Alto. The map below shows the area highlighted. This area is also where the headquarters of Waymo and Google are located. It comprises 197 square kilometer and has estimated 340,295 residents.
The license allows tests of up to 40 vehicles during day and night on urban and rural streets, as well as highways with a speed up to 65 mph. The vehicles also safely master fog and light rain.
Initially only Waymo employees will be using the cars as passengers, until – as already happening in Phoenix in Arizona – residents will be invited to join an Early-Rider-program. Here is a video of the first reactions of the passengers in a Waymo without a driver.
This article has also been published in German.