Waymo Robotaxi Expansion Delayed

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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has suspended Waymo‘s robotaxi expansion in Los Angeles and San Mateo counties for at least 120 days, pending further review. This decision, effective immediately, follows recent safety concerns linked to Waymo’s autonomous vehicles, including two crashes in Phoenix, Arizona, in December 2023, and another incident involving a cyclist in San Francisco.

Teamsters Applaud CPUC’s Move

Chris Griswold, a high-ranking official with the Teamsters, praised the CPUC’s decision, emphasizing that Waymo’s bid to extend its robotaxi services “should never have been on the table.” He highlighted the dangers autonomous vehicles (AVs) pose to public safety, citing instances of robotaxis endangering pedestrians and disrupting emergency services. Griswold criticized the CPUC and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for their reactive approach to regulating AVs, arguing for a more proactive stance to ensure community safety.

Legislative Efforts for AV Regulation

In response to these concerns, the Teamsters are championing two legislative proposals aimed at tightening AV regulations. Assembly Bill 2286 (AB 2286) seeks to mandate a human operator for self-driving trucks over 10,000 lbs, while Senate Bill 915 (SB 915) aims to give local authorities more power in regulating AVs. Both bills enjoy bipartisan support and form part of the broader CARS legislative package focused on autonomous vehicle safety.

Local Governments Rally for Control

The push for local oversight of AVs has gained momentum, with the County of San Mateo and the City of Oakland endorsing SB 915. Los Angeles and San Francisco are also moving to support the legislation, underscoring a growing consensus on the need for local governance in the deployment of autonomous vehicles.

Calls for Comprehensive Safety Measures

Despite the CPUC and DMV’s reluctance to impose stringent safety regulations on AVs, incidents involving robotaxis highlight the urgent need for comprehensive safety protocols. The Teamsters’ advocacy for AB 2286 and SB 915 reflects a broader call to action for California’s elected officials to prioritize public safety and employment security in the face of advancing autonomous vehicle technology.

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Self Drive News
Self Drive News

Self Drive News is a premier B2B digital resource meticulously curated for industry professionals, stakeholders, and enthusiasts in the rapidly accelerating world of autonomous vehicles. Rooted in innovation and forward-thinking, we deliver insightful, reliable, and up-to-the-minute news, connecting the diverse and dynamic strands of the autonomous vehicle industry under one interactive platform.