Protesters gather in Venice to push back on self-driving robotaxis

Self-driving robotaxis are now in the Los Angeles area, but not everyone is thrilled.

On Tuesday, opponents of Waymo are protesting outside of the Venice offices of Google, whose parent company Alphabet also owns Waymo.

“Safety problems with Waymo autonomous vehicles have been well documented,” the Teamsters union said in a news release. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2021 Waymo had the most automated driving system crashes of any self-driving vehicle company.”

The company has been trying to assuage safety concerns, including by offering free rides.

Earlier this year, reporters took a ride on Waymo One, which operates similarly to Uber or Lyft, noting that when it comes to self-driving cars, “it’s pretty clear this technology has progressed in a big way.”

“It was strange to get into a car with no driver, but the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE was confident and comfortable as it navigated the streets with ease,” he said.

However, even an impressed DeMuro noted that the fate of robotaxis is not yet decided, saying “we’ll have to watch and see where it goes from here.”

At least in L.A., Waymo is headed to Century City, West Hollywood, Mid-City, Koreatown and downtown L.A. starting next month.

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