Zoox has become the first company in California to obtain a permit that will allow its self-driving vehicles to transport passengers.
Movies from the past that were set in the future we are currently living in can often be quite amusing. Rewatching what people thought life would be like 20, 30, or 40 years into the future. Some of the areas that seem to always undergo the biggest changes and improvements in movies like these are weapons, fashion, and, of course, transport.
Whether it's teleportation or flying cars, moviemakers of the past had high hopes for how we would get around in the 21st century. Some of their ambitious ideas are starting to come true, though. How often have you watched movies set in the future where people are traveling in cars that don't require a driver? That is no longer a future goal, driverless cars are now a reality.
In fact, a company in California has recently become the first in the state to be granted permission to transport passengers via self-driving cars. While a number of companies have permits to test driverless vehicles in the state, Zoox has become the first to be allowed to take passengers from place to place, reports TechCrunch. There are some loopholes that come along with that honor, though.
Even though they won't be driving, the Zoox vehicles must still have a safety driver behind the wheel during this initial testing period. It will also not yet be allowed to charge passengers, to begin with. The most important addendum is the data Zoox will need to supply to the California Public Utilities Commission. Any incidents must be reported back to the CPCU, plus the number of passenger miles traveled and passenger safety protocols.
A few loopholes but nevertheless, an exciting time. A particularly big breakthrough for Zoox and a promising start to 2019 for the company. The startup doesn't plan on slowing down its progress any time soon, however. By 2020, it is aiming to have fully autonomous cars transporting passengers in California. For now, though, you can ride with Zoox for free, and you'll be joined by a safety driver who hopefully won't have to do anything at all.