Waymo Expands In San Francisco, While Cruise Faces Challenges


Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet, is pushing ahead with its expansion in San Francisco, expanding its service area despite ongoing protests against robotaxis. Meanwhile, its rival, Cruise, is facing scrutiny and setbacks due to a series of crashes and incidents.

Key Takeaway

Waymo is expanding its service area in San Francisco, enabling more riders to access its self-driving car services. Meanwhile, Cruise is facing challenges and scrutiny following a series of incidents, including a recent accident involving a pedestrian.

Waymo Extends Service Area in San Francisco

Waymo announced on Monday that its riders can now access its services throughout the majority of San Francisco. Previously, the company had limited rides in certain neighborhoods, such as Fisherman’s Wharf, Embarcadero, and Chinatown, to a select group of users. However, as of Monday, the number of riders will increase from a couple of thousand to tens of thousands, according to a source familiar with the matter.

However, it’s important to note that Waymo’s services are still exclusive to those who have made it through the company’s waitlist. Additionally, the expansion does not include Treasure Island, which is known for its diversity.

Earlier in June, one of the supervisors in northeastern San Francisco, Aaron Peskin, expressed concerns about the safety of robotaxis in a tweet, calling them “#NotReadyForPrimeTime”. The supervisor’s office did not provide immediate comments on Waymo’s announcement.

Challenges Faced by Cruise

While Waymo is expanding its services, Cruise, another player in the autonomous vehicle market, is facing challenges. Just a week ago, a Cruise autonomous vehicle was involved in an accident, running over a pedestrian after being struck by a human-driven car near Union Square. This incident adds to the series of recent crashes and incidents involving Cruise vehicles.

Furthermore, the city of San Francisco has requested a reconsideration of allowing commercial robotaxi services, and California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has ordered Cruise to reduce its fleet by half due to these “recent concerning incidents.” It’s worth noting that Waymo operates approximately 250 autonomous vehicles in San Francisco, which is roughly 22% more than Cruise’s fleet.

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