Smart Grid Observer

CPUC Approves First-in-State Pilot Program for Drivered Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service

Source: Smart Grid Observer

January 7, 2019 -- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today (12/21) authorized Zoox, Inc. to participate in California's first pilot providing 'drivered' autonomous vehicle (AV) passenger service to the public.  Passengers can ride in a vehicle that operates autonomously, and Zoox must have a trained test driver present in the driver's seat and ready to take over if needed.  Zoox may not charge passengers for any rides in test AVs.

The CPUC established the 'Drivered AV Passenger Service' pilot program in order to allow companies to provide passenger service in test AVs with a driver in the vehicle.  Zoox is the first entrant into the CPUC's pilot program.  Companies participating in the pilot will submit data and reports to the CPUC on incidents, passenger miles traveled in test AVs, test AVs that are zero-emission vehicles, execution of passenger safety protocols, and other elements of passenger safety and consumer protection.   

As required, Zoox has already obtained an Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program Manufacturer's Testing Permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  The DMV's permit, which is a necessary prerequisite for all AV testing, is separate and distinct from the CPUC's permit, which is an additional requirement only for carriers wishing to transport members of the public in AVs. 

Zoox's permit is available at

For more information on the CPUC's Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service Pilot Programs, see


Also of Interest from SGO: 3rd Smart Cities International Symposium, January 22-24, 2019,  Chicago   >> visit website