ConeSF is so back, and this time, along with coning robotaxis, we're asking you to demand that the state finally reign in Cruise and Waymo. Here’s how.
ICYMI: In July, we launched ConeSF to bring attention to Cruise & Waymo's disastrous robotaxi rollout and how vulnerable they are with just a traffic cone. Millions of views & thousands of cones later, we demand that the CPUC regulate them & halt their expansion.
The campaign clearly struck a nerve, with overwhelming media coverage and coning. We exposed their limitations, surveillance threat & lack of transparency.
All these companies are doing are dumping more cars on our streets & distracting us from funding transit.
Because of Week of Cone, The CPUC delayed the initial meeting and will hold two crucial ones on robotaxis- on Monday 8/7 and Thursday 8/10. Here’s what you need to know.
Monday, August 7, 11:30 am PST
The CPUC is holding a meeting on Monday, August 7 to discuss AV interference with public safety operations. There are a few ways to make your voice heard, but we recommend commenting beforehand in case you don’t get time as live public comment will be limited to 30 minutes. We also recommend attending the rally if you can.
Public Comment- Beforehand (Recommended) 💬 Comment Publicly (Proceeding R1212011)
Rally: Monday, August 7 at 11:30 am 📍 outside 505 McAllister (at Van Ness)
Public Comment - At the Meeting 💬 Comment is scheduled for 4:21 pm.
📍In-person comment: CPUC Auditorium at 505 McAllister (at Van Ness) Sign in at the public advisor’s table if you want to speak.
🔗 Virtual: call (800) 857-1917, passcode 1765767#. Press *1 when prompted by the operator. You'll be asked to state your name and/or organization. Follow the public comment instructions from the operator, and you will be notified and unmuted when it's your turn.
📺 Watch Monday’s meeting. Webinar password: 1765767# Webinar number: 2482 847 4041
Thursday, August 10, 11 am PST
At Thursday’s meeting, the commission is expected to vote on whether to allow Cruise and Waymo to operate paid passenger service, without drivers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all over San Francisco, with no limit on the number of vehicles they can put into service.
Public Comment: At the Meeting. Public comment will be the first item, shortly after 11a.m. Your time may be limited to one minute, but everyone who wants to speak will be given the opportunity. We suspect that the public comment period could be lengthy.
📍In-Person: CPUC Auditorium at 505 McAllister (at Van Ness) Sign in at the public advisor’s table if you want to speak.
🔗 Virtual: To comment by phone, call (800) 857-1917, passcode 9899501#. Press *1 when prompted by the operator. You'll be asked to state your name and/or organization. Follow the public comment instructions from the operator, and you will be notified and unmuted when it's your turn.
📺 Watch Thursday's Meeting. You cannot comment through the webcast.You must use the call-in number.
Suggested Talking Points:
Our Demands: The CPUC must delay any further authorization of autonomous vehicles (AVs) in San Francisco, roll back previous authorizations while the impacts of AVs on vehicle miles traveled (VMT), climate change, pollution, and public safety are studied by an independent government body, and demand that AV companies share unredacted incident data with the public.
Accountability: Robotaxis are effectively above the law. Their fleets cannot be cited for traffic violations. It is essential that this serious loophole be fixed before they be allowed to expand operations. Furthermore, as they refuse to share incident data, the public, as well as city agencies, must rely on social media posts to determine the extent of the problems they cause. A robust and independent reporting system must be put in place.
Transit & Traffic: Robotaxis add more VMT to San Francisco during a climate and traffic violence crisis. If we allow AVs to become as pervasive as their proponents want them to be, our cities will only be forced further into car dependency because more people will just want to use a car more often since they don't have to control the car themselves. AVs are going to do to our cities (and driving experiences) what urban freeways and road expansions did: while their proponents claimed that they would result in transformative changes to our transportation system, we now recognize that these were just overhyped marketing claims from entrepreneurs to sell more cars. Addressing the problems that come with car dependency means changing our cities and neighborhoods to function with fewer of them, driverless or not.
Labor: Moving humans from behind the wheel of a car to even more invisible positions in call centers & support cars makes them even easier to exploit and quashes unionization efforts. A just transition away from cars and car dominance means taking care of workers who are most affected by it, not just relegating them to more exploitable roles. We're proud to stand with the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance in this struggle to reign in robotaxis. Read their statement here.
Surveillance: AV companies partner with police and serve as tools of mass surveillance. They constantly capture audio and video without our consent. This unprecedented invasion of the public's privacy will likely have far-reaching effects on the rights of the general public. For instance, recently the Sacramento police department has forwarded surveillance data to states which could prosecute those seeking an abortion. A city-wide, moving network observing and analyzing everything that happens outdoors is something out of a dystopian movie, not a democratic society.
Accessibility: Robotaxi companies have made big promises about accessibility, but their actions show their true values. Their cars are not wheelchair accessible and do not pull up to the curb. Profit-driven robotaxi companies see accessibility as an afterthought. Without enforcement, their promises for the future will likely never materialize. Paratransit and transit are accountable to the public, but Cruise and Waymo are only accountable to shareholders.