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Two driverless taxi firms have been given the go ahead to start offering taxi rides to people in San Francisco.

The two companies faced many objections from police and fire officials as well as activists and the general public, but regulators eventually agreed to give them the green light after the California Public Utilities Commission held a vote.

The board approved the use of driverless taxis in the city 3 – 1 after postponing the vote twice.

Before voting, the board listened to more than six hours of testimony from the public, both those for and against it.

Previously, driverless taxis were only allowed to operate in certain areas in the city.

Although driverless cars have been developed more than a decade ago, they have been haltered by tech glitches, fears about their safety and some high-profile accidents that involved them.

One of the ‘robotaxi’ firms is called Waymo and it’s also owned by a Google parent company. It has been offering free rides in its driverless tais throughout the city since 2022.

The other firm that also received the go ahead is called Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors.

Image credit: Financial Times

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