Waymo, Cruise seek permits to charge for autonomous car rides in San Francisco

Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Waymo and rival Cruise have applied for permits needed to start charging for rides and delivery using autonomous vehicles in San Francisco, state documents reviewed by Reuters showed, setting the stage for the biggest tests yet of their technology in a dense urban environment.

Neither company revealed when they intend to launch services. But they detailed contrasting deployment plans, with Waymo starting with “drivered operations” and Cruise expecting to deploy vehicles without humans behind the wheel.

Waymo has provided paid, driverless rides hailed through its app in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler since 2019. But it has failed to scale up Arizona …