Waymo has announced its application to expand driverless operations to Los Angeles, California, as the latest in the autonomous ride-hailing company’s expansion plans.
In a post shared on X on Friday, Waymo said it had applied to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to expand driverless operations to the Los Angeles metro area. The company also said it plans to collaborate with lawmakers, first responders, and community organizations in the region in its deployment of its Waymo One driverless services to the public.
The post included a short teaser video of Waymo’s ride-hailing services, showing a handful of passengers in their robotaxis that have been undergoing testing in San Francisco, and around Phoenix, Arizona.
We’ve applied to the @californiapuc to extend our driverless deployment service to include LA, and we’ll continue our work w/ local policymakers, first responders & community organizations there. Angelenos, join us for a ride! https://t.co/bGP0imibM6 pic.twitter.com/KfFbCRp0V7
— Waymo (@Waymo) January 20, 2024
At the time of writing, the CPUC has not responded to Teslarati’s request for comment.
In response to the post, fervent Tesla Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta opposer and CEO of Green Hills Software Dan O’Dowd commented, highlighting that he thought Waymo’s driverless system would soon own the second largest U.S. market.
“Waymo robotaxis will soon own the second largest market in the US, while after almost 10 years of Elon Musk’s promises of Full Self-Driving in a year or so, owner’s must still desperately cling to their steering wheels to keep FSD from killing them,” wrote O’Dowd in the post.
The news comes after Waymo announced plans to expand Phoenix operations to include autonomous highway driving, which is expected to make trips on certain routes much quicker. The company gained approval to operate ride-hailing services 24 hours a day in San Francisco in August, though the public has been somewhat divided on how the CPUC should handle deployment and safety protocols of self-driving vehicles.
It also comes after the General Motors (GM) self-driving subsidiary Cruise has faced significant scrutiny in the last several months after one of its San Francisco robotaxis dragged and pinned a pedestrian who had been struck by a car driven by a human. Following the accident, the driverless ride-hailing company and Waymo competitor had its self-driving permit revoked by the state, later facing layoffs and multiple high-profile departures, and the company is set to appear at a CPUC hearing next month.