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Activists’ Simple Solution to Stop Autonomous Vehicles

San Francisco residents are protesting the expansion of Cruise and Waymo robotaxis in their city in a very simple way.

As seen in videos on TikTok and Twitter, Cone Week involves so-called safe street activists placing a traffic cone on the bonnets of non-transport autonomous vehicles. passenger.

The protest comes ahead of the California Public Utilities Commission’s upcoming voting meeting on July 13, where the agency is expected to vote to authorize the expansion of Cruise and Waymo in the city.

Indeed, that was the “recommended outcome” on the agenda, with the CPUC noting that the proposed changes were “not anticipated to pose a significant safety risk”.

This change will allow these companies to charge fares for fully automated robotaxi rides throughout the city, 24 hours a day.

Under Cruise’s current license, it can only provide paid robotaxi services from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in limited areas, while Waymo’s license requires a safe driver. Both companies are allowed to offer free drone services.

Cruise said in a statement posted by TechCrunch.

“We will notify law enforcement of any unwanted or unsafe interference with our vehicles on public roads.”

Activists say they are opposing the expansion for a variety of reasons, including well-publicized incidents of self-driving vehicles blocking public transit, interfere with emergency services and even kill a dog.

However, some pictures and videos of the vehicles with cones show them being stopped in the middle of the road – precisely one of the complaints activists have made about these vehicles.

In a TikTok video in support of Cone Week, activist Safe Street Rebel opposes the expansion of Waymo and Cruise as they “[partner] with the police to record everyone at all times without consent” and “only exists so the profit-driven auto companies maintain their dominant position and make transportation harder to survive” .

Activists aren’t alone in opposing the expansion of robotic shafts in San Francisco.

“San Francisco expresses concern about the expansion of commercial service during peak hours of the day as stops and delays have the potential to significantly affect more passengers than on the affected route(s).” and system-wide,” read the summary of CPUC objections released by San Francisco. The Francisco City Transportation Authority (SFMTA), the SF County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), and the Mayor’s Office of Persons with Disabilities.

“Furthermore, San Francisco describes Cruise AV’s unplanned stops and unsafe maneuvers affecting emergency responders.

“These incidents include incidents where Cruise AV obstructed a moving fire truck to an emergency, ran over a fire hydrant, or improperly entered the emergency scene.”

Naturally, taxi driver groups such as the San Francisco Taxi Workers Union and the Independent Workers Union have also opposed the expansion of robotaxis.


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