The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved the expansion plans of robot taxi company Waymo last week, meaning the company is now allowed to operate its self-driving car in the Los Angeles area again.

The company’s cars are now allowed to travel at speeds up to 65mph on local roads and motorways in restricted areas. In a statement to the Washington Post, Waymo spokeswoman Julia Ilina said the company’s expansion is cautious and gradual, and that it has no immediate plans to expand the service to highways.

Last month, the CPUC put the company’s expansion on hold until June, following protests from several San Francisco groups. Concerns about the safety of driverless robot taxis have grown after several accidents. For example, last month a Waymo car ran over a cyclist, and last October another company’s robot taxi, Cruise, hit and dragged a pedestrian.

Now, the CPUC has concluded that Waymo has demonstrated its focus on continually evaluating and improving its technology, safety practices and aspects of its operations that minimize the risk of driverless passenger transportation operations in extended areas. The decision allowed Waymo to begin its expansion immediately.

Source: The Verge