Up until now a safety driver has had to be in self-driving cars in case they needed to take control quickly, but now that driver’s gone.


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The era of commercial autonomous robotaxi service is finally here, just months after the state of California relaxed its rules and let autonomous vehicle manufacturers remove the requirement for a person to be sitting in the drivers seat ready to take control if their self-driving cars go haywire – or get confused and hacked by stickers and sabotaged road markings


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This week Cruise officially became the first company to offer fared rides to the general public in a major city, and the milestone comes after Cruise received official approval from the California Public Utilities Commission in early June to operate driverless in a commercial capacity.


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Initially, Cruise’s driverless autonomous offering will operate only between 10PM and 6AM, and only on designated streets in the city. But the limits are part of a plan by regulators and the company to prove out the safety and efficacy of its system before deploying it in more locations at additional times. The new operating window already extends its total active time by 1.5 hours as compared to the free driverless test pilot service it was offering between June of last year and the debut of this paid service.


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However, while it might sound like Cruise is still a way away from offering services 24/7 throughout San Francisco it’s still a major step toward a future where self-driving cars dominate the streets in big cities picking up paying fares and put taxi drivers everywhere out of jobs …


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Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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