Council Pushes for Expansion of Autonomous Vehicles to Realize Safety, Environmental Benefits
The Bay Area Council continued its advocacy this week (July 13) to expand access to autonomous vehicles in San Francisco. Council Vice President Emily Loper testified at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) urging the regulatory body to approve the applications by Waymo and Cruise to offer driverless ride-hailing services in San Francisco without further delay. This is the second time the vote has been delayed in response to San Francisco officials raising concerns about the rapid deployment of this advanced technology, despite the fact that the vehicles are regulated by the state – both the CPUC and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) – and have proceeded through a reasonable regulatory approval process.
For many residents who don’t own a car or for whom public transit is not convenient, these all electric driverless cars offer a safe, convenient, and affordable mobility option. The data is very clear that driverless cars are extremely safe, safer in most cases than human drivers. These vehicles have driven over millions of miles without a single reported injury, whereas traffic fatalities and injuries by human drivers in San Francisco have only risen in recent years. Even CPUC regulators have pushed back against hyperbolic claims that driverless vehicles have been involved in accidents. The Council is proud that San Francisco is home to this innovation that will transform how we move around, and we will continue to work with the industry and regulators to advance the deployment within San Francisco and beyond.