Robotaxis in San Francisco: A New Era of Transportation or a Cause for Concern?


Waymo and Cruise have received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to launch paid 24/7, fully autonomous driverless car services in San Francisco. This groundbreaking decision comes after substantial public testimony and represents the final step for these companies to roll out their services in the city.

While Cruise and Waymo hail this as a historic industry milestone, concerns are rising. San Francisco officials, including the fire chief, have complained about driverless vehicles disrupting traffic, interfering with bus routes, and impeding emergency responders. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has reported nearly 600 incidents involving driverless vehicles since June 2022. Disability advocates, on the other hand, argue that autonomous vehicles provide more accessibility and safety.

With Waymo and Cruise set to incrementally increase their fleets, it opens the door for significant change in urban transportation.

Some questions to think through

  1. Innovation vs. Safety: How can autonomous vehicles be integrated into existing transportation systems without hindering safety and efficiency?
  2. Regulation and Oversight: What measures should regulators take to monitor and mitigate the impact of robotaxis on the city’s unemployment rate?

Can’t help think of the Johnny Cab in Total Recall

1 Like

Hadn’t seen this before, it actually raises a number of good questions about AI alignment but we don’t need to go down that rabbithole :joy:

Autonomous cars/buses were tested near me in the city of Armidale. I jumped out in front of it and it stopped perfectly.
Uber’s whole strategy has been to operate long enough to get to autonomous vehicles and get rid of all the humans. At one stage they had a pre-order into Volvo for something like 24,000 vehicles.

You are one of the few people I know who would possibly do this :joy:

Yeah Uber’s profits would look a lot better without all those drivers! That reality is just around the corner as well

1 Like