Cruise, Waymo granted self-driving taxi permits in California

Driverless ride-hailing services to launch soon

So, how much do you tip a robot?

Self-driving ride-hailing companies Cruise and Waymo have been granted permits to operate commercial autonomous taxi services for paying customers in and around San Francisco.

Cruise uses electric Chevy Bolts for its San Francisco service. (AP)

General Motors-owned Cruise is allowed to pick up passengers in designated parts of San Francisco between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at a maximum speed of 30 mph without a human driver in the vehicle, while Alphabet's Waymo can operate cars within San Francisco and San Mateo County at speeds of up to 65 mph with a backup driver, according to the California DMV.

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Cruise has been testing and operating an employee taxis service on the streets of San Francisco for several years. Waymo has also had a permit to test in the state and this summer began offering fully driverless rides to customers in the Phoenix-area suburbs, which is one of its main development areas.

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Neither company has announced timing or details for the start of their operations. A Cruise spokesman said there will be "more to come" on its service, which will be the first and only to provide rides without a backup driver to customers in California.