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Diskussionen om autonoma fordon är hetare än någonsin

Tuesday, Februari 20, 2024

Utplaceringen av autonoma fordon fortsätter att likna en berg-och-dalbana snarare än en smidig utrullning av robottaxis. Konsekvenserna av policy och allmänhetens acceptans på branschen fortsätter att växa i betydelse. Inte överraskande är Kalifornien fortfarande den huvudsakliga arenan där dessa händelser utspelar sig. Läs hela artikeln på engelska. 

Photo showing a family crossing the street and an autonoumos car has stopped infront of the cross marks

Källa: Waymo

On the heavy vehicle side, Governor Newsom's veto of a bill last year saved autonomous heavy trucks from being required to have a safety driver onboard. Now, new California legislation proposes similar restrictions again, while also aiming to address job retention. The job argument seems peculiar given the increasing shortage of truck drivers, and it remains to be seen whether the Governor will intervene again.

The robotaxi industry is also facing upcoming legislative battles. In California, the authority to allow driverless vehicles lies with two state agencies, with affected cities having no say. However, proposed legislation seeks to grant local governments authority to determine when, where, or if robotaxis can operate.

This comes as Waymo seeks approval to substantially increase its commercial robotaxi operations, expanding coverage to a large part of the San Francisco Bay Area and adding Los Angeles. It now appears that one of the regulating agencies have at least suspended that expansion for up to 120 days.

While Waymo weathered last year's turbulence much better than Cruise, they are not immune to incidents. A minor accident involving a cyclist did not garner significant attention, but a recent incident where an empty Waymo vehicle was set on fire by the crowd while crossing Chinatown during Chinese New Year celebrations, sparked discussions about whether AV algorithms consider avoiding well-known public mass events during certain times.

Finally, in the rare event that you haven't kept up with AV industry news over the past decade, this summary offers a good summary of the industry’s highs and lows.