Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) self-driving subsidiary Waymo and General Motors Co (NYSE:GM)-backed Cruise have applied for commercial permits in San Francisco, according to a Reuters report that cited state documents.
What Happened: The self-driving technology companies are seeking permits to begin charging for rides and delivery using autonomous vehicles in San Francisco, a big step and test for the two companies in a dense suburban setup.
According to the Reuters report, Waymo plans to start with “drivered operations" and Cruise is expecting to deploy vehicles sans humans behind the wheel.
Both companies have not revealed a timeline to roll out the services and California's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is still reviewing the applications from Waymo made on Jan. 19 and Cruise on March 29, according to Reuters.
Waymo launched a fully driverless commercial taxi service in October last year and has since not further expanded its autonomous services despite high expectations.
Cruise, also backed by Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE:HMC) and SoftBank Group Corp (OTC:SFTBY), has been focusing on San Francisco since the beginning and has logged 2 million autonomous driving miles in the city, according to the report.
Waymo has had over 83,000 autonomous miles in its proposed deployment area, according to its application.
Waymo services would be available all 24 hours while Cruise said its service hours would be from late evening to early morning.
Why It Matters: The development is a big step for Waymo and Cruise who have so far limited San Francisco and Silicon Valley to self-driving tests and are now eyeing scaling up the business after years of revenue-generating deployment delay of self-driving vehicles.
Cruise would receive $1.35 billion from SoftBank's Vision Fund once its autonomous vehicles are ready for commercial deployment, as part of the earlier deal agreement.
Waymo and Cruise are not alone as the silicon valley-based startup Nuro became the first company to secure a California DMV deployment permit in December.
Price Action: Alphabet Class A shares closed 0.95% lower at $2,270 on Tuesday. GM stock closed 2.9% lower at $55.73 per share.
Photo, Courtesy of Waymo