San Francisco sues the California Public Utilities Commission over its decision to allow the expansion of Waymo autonomous vehicles

Last month, the city of San Francisco filed a lawsuit in opposition to a decision made last summer by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) allowing autonomous car company Waymo to expand its operation to 24/7 taxi service across the city. The lawsuit asks the CPUC to review whether the decision complies with the law. The Washington Post explains:

Experts say City Attorney David Chiu is attempting to make a tricky legal case, and are skeptical on how successful he will ultimately be in getting the commission to revisit its decision. But, if the city attorney gets his way, Waymo could be forced to roll back its expansion until California rethinks the way it governs autonomous vehicles. That move could inspire dozens of other states — such as Texas and Nevada — where autonomous vehicles have been deployed.

"As driverless AVS expanded in San Francisco, members of the public and city officials identified hundreds of safety incidents, including interference with first responders," according to the lawsuit, filed Dec. 11 in a California appellate court. "Despite these serious safety incidents, and over the objections of San Francisco, the commission approved requests by Cruise and Waymo to operate." 

Despite Waymo and Cruise both insisting that their cars "have a superior track record to human drivers" the driverless robot cars continue to cause issues in San Francisco—collisions, traffic disruptions, disruptions of public transportation, emergency responder interference, and more. Again, The Washington Post

Waymo and Cruise have both cited self-reported data that their robot cars have a superior track record to human drivers, and say their technology will eventually usher in a future with fewer road deaths and injuries. Still, over the past year, the cars have caused major headaches around the city — from disrupting traffic by stopping short or breaking down in the middle of the road, to once rolling over a fire hose at an emergency scene . . . According to the lawsuit, the city is asking the CPUC to reconsider the permits for Waymo and also "develop reporting requirements, safety benchmarks, and other needed public safety regulations" that would address "serious incidents involving first responders, street traffic interference, and disruption of public transportation." 

The deadline for the CPUC and Waymo to file opposition briefs is February 16.