Self-driving cars without safety drivers behind the wheel have flooded San Francisco streets. In August, two of the leading autonomous vehicle companies, General Motors-owned Cruise and Alphabet-owned Waymo, were granted permission to expand operations, allowing people to hail a driverless car like an Uber. But the launch has been plagued with issues. In October, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles suspended Cruise’s permit to operate the company’s driverless fleet in the state, citing an incident in which a Cruise vehicle dragged a pedestrian for 20 feet after a collision. Cruise had been quickly expanding to other cities including Phoenix, Austin, Dallas, Houston and Miami, but the company paused driverless operations nationwide following the California suspension. Waymo is still operating robotaxis in San Francisco.
Before Cruise’s permit was revoked, CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa took a ride in one of its autonomous vehicles. She also gave Waymo a try and gives a comparison of the two very different rides. She also sat down with San Francisco city officials and Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise, to explore how the launch of robotaxis has been going for the city and what’s next.
00:00 — Introduction
03:30 — Robotaxis go driverless
09:10 — A rocky start
17:70 — Future expansion
Produced, shot and edited by: Andrew Evers
Reporter: Deirdre Bosa
Senior Field Producer: Laura Batchelor
Supervising Producer: Jeniece Pettitt
Additional camera: Sydney Boyo, Katie Brigham, Marc Ganley
Additional footage: Cruise, Waymo, Aurora, Zoox, Getty Images, NBC News
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San Francisco Is Teeming With Self-Driving Cars And It’s A Mess