Waymo Wins First Permit to Begin Driverless Tests in California

(Bloomberg) -- California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has granted Waymo the state’s first permit to test driverless vehicles on public roads.

While 60 companies have permits to test autonomous vehicles in California, the state is allowing Waymo to be the first to field cars without a safety driver behind the wheel. The tests will involve a fleet of roughly three dozen vehicles.

“California has been working toward this milestone for several years, and we will continue to keep the public’s safety in mind as this technology evolves,” Jean Shiomoto, director of the state’s DMV, said in a statement.

In a blog post, Waymo said that the test cars will drive in parts of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto. The permit includes day and night testing, and the first driverless rides will be for Waymo employees.

Waymo, the business created from Google’s self-driving car project, began a driverless testing program in Phoenix, Arizona, last year.

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