San Francisco’s public transportation system encounters new challenges due to the rising quantity of self-driving cars on the city’s streets.
San Francisco’s Driverless Car Problem
The increasing number of autonomous vehicles on San Francisco’s roads, particularly those from General Motors’ Cruise and Alphabet’s Waymo, is causing confusion and some anger among commuters.
Wired has obtained records revealing a series of incidents involving self-driving cars that have caused delays and inconvenience to bus and train passengers since September, and has become a new challenge for public transportation systems.
Residents of San Francisco’s Balboa Terrace district were recently affected by a traffic blockage caused by five self-driving cars from Waymo. The incident, which occurred this week, was attributed to the thick fog that engulfed the area, causing the autonomous vehicles to halt.
According to Waymo spokesperson Chris Bonelli, the convoy of self-driving cars powered by software halted when it encountered thick fog, inadvertently causing a traffic jam.
After some time, the fog cleared, and traffic resumed its normal flow, although it took several minutes for other drivers to maneuver around the autonomous vehicles.
As tech companies like Waymo and Cruise prepare to expand their fleet of robotaxis in the coming years, city officials are calling on California state regulators to impose limitations on the deployment of self-driving vehicles until the current issues are addressed.
The officials have expressed urgency in their request to ensure public safety and the smooth functioning of transportation systems and argue that changes could have lasting effects on the welfare of the city’s residents and its transportation infrastructure.
Director of Transportation for Muni, Jeffrey Tumlin, expressed his concerns about how driverless cars will affect San Francisco’s streets.
“What we’re seeing is a significant uptick in traffic and other kinds of chaos on our streets,” he said. “We are very concerned that if autonomous vehicles are allowed limitless, driverless operations in San Francisco that the traffic impacts grow exponentially.”
Tumlin added, “When you encounter a vehicle with no human on board, it is dispiriting and disempowering. There’s no one there to communicate with at all.”
Driverless Cars Aren’t Anything New
Driverless cars have been around since 2015, according this post below.
Ford Mustang just released their 2023 driverless car.
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