California suspends Waymo expansion application until June 19

A Waymo rider-only robotaxi is seen during a test ride in San Francisco, California, U.S., December 9, 2022. REUTERS/Paresh Dave/File Photo

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -A California regulator has "suspended" until June 19 an application by Waymo to expand its robotaxi services to parts of the Los Angeles area and San Francisco's peninsula, amid rising safety concerns over autonomous vehicles.

The application has been "suspended for further staff review", a notification on the California Public Utilities Commission website showed on Wednesday. It was unclear when the notification posted.

Waymo, which now operates in San Francisco and Phoenix, applied for the expansion on Jan 19, saying it would work with policymakers, first responders and community organizations to launch its ride-hailing service.

But the suspension comes amid growing hostility towards robotaxis following accidents involving Waymo and rival General Motor's Cruise.

Waymo did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suspension.

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy in San Francisco; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh and Cynthia Osterman)

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