Press Releases

Teamsters Respond to Waymo Application Suspension for Robotaxi Operations in LA, San Mateo: ‘Waymo Expansion Should Never Have Been on the Table’


On Heels of Software Recall, CPUC Suspends Waymo’s Proposal for Expansion At Least 120 Days

(CALIFORNIA) — The Teamsters commend the decision today by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to suspend Waymo’s application to expand its robotaxi operations in Los Angeles and San Mateo counties for a minimum of 120 days or at least until June 2024. The decision comes just one week after Waymo recalled its robotaxi software following two crashes involving Waymo robotaxis in Phoenix, Arizona, in December 2023, and less than one month after a Waymo robotaxi crashed into a cyclist in San Francisco, leading to an investigation by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

“While today’s decision by the CPUC marks a step in the right direction, Waymo’s application to expand its robotaxi operations should never have been on the table — not when we’ve seen the chaos and destruction that autonomous vehicles can cause,” said Chris Griswold, Teamsters International Vice President At-Large and President of Teamsters Joint Council 42. “The CPUC and DMV have failed to listen to community members who are fearful of these dangerous vehicles and proven they’re not willing to take action to protect the public from dangerous AVs until after incidents occur. Autonomous vehicles are not ready for prime time, and do not belong on our streets.” 

Despite robotaxis running over pedestrians, blocking first responders from their jobs, reportedly coming within seconds of colliding with children, and causing traffic pile-ups, the CPUC and DMV have refused to implement significant AV safety measures

In an effort to put regulatory control in the hands of local governments and protect public safety and good jobs, the Teamsters are advocating for the passage of Assembly Bill 2286 (AB 2286), which would require a trained human operator behind the wheel of self-driving trucks weighing more than 10,000 lbs, and Senate Bill 915 (SB 915), legislation that will allow California’s local governments to regulate autonomous vehicles. Both bills have strong bipartisan support and are part of the CARS legislative package on autonomous vehicles

“We can’t trust companies like Waymo and Cruise to operate in the public’s best interest when they’re just trying to rake in profits and appease shareholders. That’s why bills like AB 2286 and SB 915 that protect public safety and good jobs are so critical,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters International Western Region Vice President and President of Teamsters Joint Council 7. “The Teamsters are calling on all California elected leaders to protect their constituents and pass this legislation.” 

Local AVs control continues to be a key issue, and that’s why the County of San Mateo and the City of Oakland have both passed resolutions in support of SB 915. In addition, the City of Los Angeles has introduced a resolution of support, and the City of San Francisco plans to introduce a similar resolution next week. 

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