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23 Aug 2022

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Self-Driving Cars Are Hitting the Streets!

Zoox, a self-driving car company, has introduced its newest model of self-driving cars to the public. The new models have improved safety and performance from their previous models and are now hitting the streets in Los Angeles to test how well they hold up against regular traffic conditions. So far, Zoox has been very satisfied with the results of the tests and will be expanding to more cities shortly.

Their vehicles will begin hitting the streets and offering rides, giving everyone a chance to try out the new fleet. In addition, riders can use Zoox's app to get matched with a car.

Despite being just one of many companies that have been granted a permit to test driverless vehicles in California, Zoox has now received the first permit to transport passengers.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) granted Zoox this first-of-its-kind permit for its Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service pilot.

A safety driver will be behind the wheel during testing, and Zoox is not permitted to charge passengers for rides. In addition, Zoox is required to provide statistical data and reports to the CPUC, including any incidents.

"This is an important milestone on our pathway to deploying a fully autonomous commercial service," Zoox, head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, told TechCrunch via email.

Just three months after Zoox tested self-driving rides as part of the Global Action Summit, the company dismissed co-founder Tim Kentley-Klay at the close of August. In the month since Cannon-Brookes was fired, Zoox closed a $500 million financing round led by Grok Ventures, bringing its funding total to $800 million.

The company eventually hopes to offer an autonomous ride-hailing service. The cars will be all-electric and fully autonomous. While other ride-hail companies like Lyft and Uber are hard at work on their autonomous vehicles, as well as several other large players in the industry.

For some background, the CPUC also operates two pilot programs. A safety driver is required for one test, and a passenger without a safety driver is required for the other.

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