The idea of being able to ride in a vehicle you don’t have to worry about driving may become a reality sooner than you might think. With tech startup Waymo, who stated they began offering robotaxi rides in Los Angeles on April 10, the nation’s experiment with self-driving technology has begun to pick up steam.

A spinoff of Google, Waymo announced details for its service in Los Angeles this past January as it sought regulatory approval from the state and local support from the city. This past year, the company has offered free “tour” rides throughout Los Angeles, and in March, received regulatory approval to expand to a paid service. 

Waymo stated that more than 50,000 people were on its waitlist to use its service. The company did not specify how many individuals would be allowed to fully use the app starting this week. However, the company said last month that it was starting with a Los Angeles fleet of less than 50 cars covering the 63-square-mile section between Santa Monica and downtown L.A. Los Angeles County boasts a population of nearly 10 million people.

Waymo’s service works similarly to other ride-hailing smartphone apps such as Flywheel, Lyft, and Uber. Waymo’s primary difference is that the vehicles possess no drivers. Riders follow instructions on the mobile app, and through the vehicle’s sound system, Waymo workers can assist remotely.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that Tesla would reveal a robotaxi product in August, but gave no details about the project. Cruise, a General Motors subsidiary that halted its service after one of its vehicles failed to detect a pedestrian underneath it, said it would reintroduce human-driven vehicles in select cities, including Phoenix. Various China-based startups are also testing self-driving cars on California roads, but for now, Waymo’s only competition is the traditional, human-driven car services.

Waymo’s expansion to Los Angeles will bring autonomous for-profit taxis to the country’s second-largest city—a city long synonymous with car travel. Waymo already features commercial robotaxi services in San Francisco and Phoenix.

Chad Ludwick, Waymo’s product management director, said: “The reception from Angelenos so far has been exceptional, and we look forward to welcoming more riders into our service over time.” He also informed its test riders about the change in an email, which someone posted to Reddit.

However, even with the buzz, robotaxis have faced criticism—not only from the threat they pose to drivers’ jobs, but also to the mistakes they’ve made blocking city buses or emergency vehicles. California law states that driverless cars can’t be given traffic tickets, and could make traffic congestion even worse.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation said that the Waymo expansion is occurring too soon, without enough local foresight of the autonomous vehicle operations. State officials said in an order last month that those concerns were unfounded, however.

Supporters of robotaxis have countered that human drivers have terrible safety records, with traffic deaths reaching 40,000 a year in the United States. Waymo has not reported any deaths or serious injuries from its technology and appears to be generally more observant of traffic laws than human drivers are, based on testimonies from journalists who have ridden in them.

Opponents of the autonomous taxi expansions have vowed to slow down the growth of companies such as Waymo. A bill that is pending in the California Senate would give both cities and counties authority over these types of services—a power that currently only resides within state government agencies. A hearing on that bill is expected next week.