America’s Most Tech-Forward City Has Doubts About Self-Driving Cars

The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates passenger transportation, is scheduled to vote this month on whether to allow GM’s Cruise to expand its presence in San Francisco and to allow it and Alphabet’s Waymo to charge for rides at all times. The vote has been delayed twice, and the agency will hold a hearing next week to hear responses from the companies to a list of safety concerns.

“We think that autonomous vehicles are amazing and we believe that someday they will be safer than human drivers,” said Jeffrey Tumlin, director of transportation for San Francisco’s transit authority. “So far, the industry has not demonstrated that.”

Cruise and Waymo are fighting back. Executives at both companies have begun presenting their pitches to the public and government officials with greater urgency, armed with data they say shows the safety benefits of their vehicles.