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Cruise AV is now allowed to test fully driverless cars on California streets

The company plans to be the first self-driving car developer to test driverless cars in urban areas.

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GM-backed self-driving car company Cruise AV was granted permission by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to undertake fully driverless testing on the streets of San Francisco, Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said in a Medium post Thursday.

Cruise is far from the first company to be granted this kind of testing permit in California, but it is the first to plan to operate without a human safety driver inside the city of San Francisco, which, if you've ever driven there, can be more than a little harrowing at the best of times.

"Before the end of the year, we'll be sending cars out onto the streets of SF -- without gasoline and without anyone at the wheel," Ammann said in a statement. "Because safely removing the driver is the true benchmark of a self-driving car, and because burning fossil fuels is no way to build the future of transportation."

Ammann's blog post is also accompanied by a short video from Cruise co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Kyle Vogt that echoes Ammann's sentiments and speaks about the first ground-up vehicle design to come from Cruise, the Origin.

Where do you stand on the subject of fully driverless vehicle testing on public roads? Let us know in the comments.