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Video: San Franciscans Speak Out on Robotaxi Service Expansion

Written by Joel UmanzorUpdated at Aug. 11, 2023 • 2:29pmPublished Aug. 10, 2023 • 1:32pm
A huge line of San Franciscans waiting to speak at the robotaxi hearing on Thursday. | Source: Ida Mojadad/The Standard

A huge line of people formed on Thursday morning in San Francisco to have their voices heard at a hearing on robotaxi expansion in the city.

Around 150 people had signed up to speak in person at the hearing, with more than 80 people signed up to speak online.

The high-profile California Public Utilities Commission hearing, which began at 11 a.m., ended with a vote on two resolutions that allow autonomous vehicle companies Cruise and Waymo to operate across the city 24/7 and charge passengers for rides.

READ MORE: Future of Self-Driving Cars in San Francisco Could Be Decided Today

Some of those in favor of expanding driverless cars in the city wore yellow shirts designed by Safer Roads for All, a campaign by Waymo and tech industry groups to gain public support. Those seen in purple Service Employees International Union shirts were also in favor of the approval.

Members of the public make comments about robotaxis at Thursday's hearing of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Those against the resolutions held a large banner on the steps with an illustration of a fallen dog with tire tracks on it. The dog image is possibly a reference to a May incident where a Waymo struck and killed a dog in San Francisco.

In recent months, cabbies, ride-share drivers and the Teamsters union have all staged rallies against self-driving robotaxis in Downtown San Francisco.

The commission approved the resolutions Thursday evening.

Joel Umanzor can be reached at

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