Fire chief warns against ‘unleashing’ self-driving taxis in San Francisco

July 02, 2023

So far in 2023, the San Francisco police department has logged nearly 40 incidents where a robotaxi interfered with fire department work, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Our car initially stopped as it was approaching an active emergency scene, then proceeded to perform a U-turn and pull over,” a spokesperson told the Guardian. In April, the company got permission from city leaders to operate anywhere in the city 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Amid this expansion other companies, including Waymo, a Google spinoff and Zoox, which is owned by Amazon, have sought approval to operate in San Francisco as well as Los Angeles. Though no one has been killed or reported being seriously injured due to a robotaxi obstructing emergency crews, the San Francisco fire chief, Jeanine Nicholson, urged the state to move more slowly.