Disability Advocates Push for Robotaxi Expansion

San Francisco’s LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is among a group of community organizations urging state regulators to approve Waymo’s permit that would enable the self-driving car company to receive payments for its around-the-clock service in San Francisco.

Why it matters: Community organizations that advocate on behalf of people with disabilities argue autonomous vehicles are safer and provide more accessibility and independence than traditional ride-hailing services, and hope the permit will encourage expanded services.

In an open letter, more than a dozen community advocacy groups urged the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve Waymo’s permit at the earliest possible opportunity, arguing driverless cars can ensure this next generation of transportation is more inclusive than ever.

In addition to LightHouse, other groups include the San Francisco LGBT Center, Self-Help for the Elderly and the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California. Waymo and competitor Cruise are both seeking to expand their respective paid passenger services in San Francisco but first need approval from the CPUC.

Source: Axios