Google’s Robotaxis Can Now Operate in Los Angeles. Here’s Why Some Angelenos Are Concerned.

Los Angeles will become the third city to host Google’s self-driving taxis. The autonomous ride-hailing service Waymo received approval from California regulators to launch in L.A. County in the coming months. However, Waymo’s expansion into other U.S. cities has been met with resistance. Driverless taxi services, including Waymo and G.M.-owned Cruise, have been involved in recent high-profile collisions that sparked renewed safety concerns.

In late 2023, Cruise recalled 950 driverless cars and had its operating license suspended by regulators after a pedestrian involved in a separate hit-and-run was struck and dragged 20 feet by one of its self-driving vehicles. This came only months after a Cruise robotaxi failed to yield and collided with a firetruck in a San Francisco intersection. Last December, a Waymo robotaxi was involved in a minor collision with a pick-up truck being towed in the center lane of a Phoenix Street. Several minutes later, it happened again when a second Waymo driverless vehicle collided with the same truck.

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