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January 30, 2024



I never understood why the UPS and Amazon trucks don't get ticketed for parking (parking!) in the right hand lane of El Camino.


A Waymo car (with test driver) just drove past our house on a residential street (two blocks off ECR) here in B’game this morning.


Does our esteemed city council have the brains to ask Waymo for the test drive results?


Check this out from the Comicle site:

Vandals set off fireworks in driverless Waymo car, incinerating it in S.F.’s Chinatown

A Waymo vehicle was vandalized and then set on fire in San Francisco’s Chinatown on Saturday night, according to the Fire Department.

A group of people surrounded the vehicle on Jackson Street to record vandals breaking the car’s windows with a skateboard and tagging the car, according to videos posted on social media. The vehicle appeared to be unoccupied.

Fireworks were lit inside of the car, “which ultimately caught the entire vehicle on fire,” the San Francisco Fire Department posted on X at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

Photos of the aftermath show the vehicle completely charred. It was unclear whether anyone was arrested. A spokesperson for Waymo said in a statement that the vehicle was operating in autonomous mode and had just completed a drop-off when it was vandalized.


Now the County is asking for some say, per the Merc:

San Mateo County is pushing back on a proposal to bring driverless taxis to the Peninsula’s streets and highways.

In a letter to regulators, the county opposed a request by robot-driven taxi service Waymo to expand its operations beyond San Francisco. Waymo and competitor Cruise have experienced safety problems in San Francisco, including several instances where driverless cars caused traffic congestion and impeded emergency responders.

“Waymo failed to communicate in any depth or detail with county staff about the specifics of Waymo’s proposal to expand its operations, largely unfettered, into San Mateo County,” read the county’s letter last week to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which regulates autonomous vehicles throughout the state.

The protest letter was signed by county attorney John Nibbelin and dated Feb. 8, the deadline to submit objections to Waymo’s expansion plans.


Another Waymo car on El Camino this afternoon with a driver.


This just in via a Merc news alert:

A plan by robotaxi company Waymo to expand its driverless service down the Peninsula has hit a four-month regulatory delay.

The commission (Ed: the CPUC) on Friday issued a notice that Waymo’s Peninsula application — and its proposal to take paid fares in Los Angeles — would be suspended for 120 days to allow “further staff review.”

San Mateo Supervisor David Canepa said the delay would “provide the opportunity to fully engage the autonomous vehicle maker on our very real public safety concerns that have caused all kinds of dangerous situations for firefighters and police in neighboring San Francisco.”

Waymo said Wednesday it had completed a dozen training sessions for the North San Mateo County Fire Authority, four for the Menlo Park Police Department, two for the South San Francisco Fire Department, and one each for the San Bruno and Colma police departments. Training sessions have been scheduled with South San Mateo County Fire, the South San Francisco Fire Department, and South San Francisco, San Mateo and East Palo Alto police, Waymo said.
I guess BPD is down the priority list.


All systems are apparently cleared to go:

State regulators on Friday approved Waymo’s request to allow driverless taxis to operate on the Peninsula.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) stated in a disposition letter that Waymo’s driverless taxis can begin picking up fared passengers immediately. The commission’s Consumer Enforcement and Protection Division (CEPD) found that “Waymo has complied with the requirements of the deployment decision.”

The company will be allowed to operate on roads and highways along the Peninsula, as well as in Los Angeles.

“I find this to be egregious and disingenuous,” said San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, one of the loudest voices against autonomous vehicles on the Peninsula. “I thought the CPUC gave us 120 days to sit down with Waymo and discuss our concerns here in San Mateo County… We have had no talks to address our concerns and it says to me that neither Waymo nor the CPUC care about local concerns over the public safety of residents.”

Timothy Hooker

Thanks Joe:

Active Vehicle Time/Total Available Vehicle Time x 100 = Vehicle Utilization Rate

Big Government will force you out of your personal cars if your Utilization rate equals their set standard.

Just a matter of time?


Sacramento is getting into the Waymo regulation arena. From the Merc:

Assembly Bill 3061, introduced by Assemblymember Matt Haney, D-San Francisco, would help address the transparency issue. Autonomous-vehicle companies currently must report to the DMV any collision that results in property damage, bodily injury or death, and the reports are available online. But these requirements apply only to cars being tested, not those actually deployed.

Haney’s bill would require the companies to report to the DMV collisions during deployment as well, and the agency would have to publish incident reports on its website within 30 days. This change is no-brainer. It’s time to bring full transparency to the safety records of autonomous vehicles during both testing and deployment.

Senate Bill 915, introduced by Sen. Dave Cortese, D-San Jose, would give local governments the authority to say yes or no to driverless cars on their roads and create local rules such as capping the number of cars operating in a certain area or setting maximum fares.

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