Alphabet subsidiary Waymo has obtained permission to use its robotaxis for the transportation of passengers in California, US.

The permission by the California Public Utilities Commission will allow Waymo to join an autonomous vehicle passenger service pilot programme.

Waymo is the fourth self-driving car firm to participate in the programme together with Zoox, Autox Technologies, and Pony.ai.

Valid for a period of three years, the permission allows Waymo to carry riders in driverless cars on California highways. However, the company is not allowed to collect fares from passengers.

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In order to ensure safety, Californian regulators have instructed the company to provide a safety driver in the autonomous car.

Recently, Waymo deployed its driverless cars to Lyft riders in Phoenix.

Waymo in statement said: “Operating and scaling a meaningful pilot requires a large group of drivers who are more efficiently engaged through Waymo’s experienced and specialised third-party staffing providers.”

Waymo spokesperson said: “This is the next step on our path to eventually expand and offer more Californians opportunities to access our self-driving technology, just as we have gradually done with Waymo One in Metro Phoenix.”

After splitting from sister-company Google in December 2016, Waymo has been testing its driverless cars. In 2018, its self-driving cars travelled nearly 1.3 million miles on public roads in California.

Last month, Renault, Nissan and Waymo signed an agreement to explore opportunities in driverless services for passengers and deliveries in France and Japan.

This is the first agreement that Waymo signed with Renault and Nissan. This deal allows Waymo’s technology to be used by the car manufacturers on their driverless vehicles.