The AtlanticThe Atlantic

San Francisco has a problem with robotaxis

By David Zipper

09 Aug 2023 · 10 min read

informed Summary

  1. A local activist group in San Francisco, Safe Street Rebel, has launched a campaign against self-driving taxis, or "robotaxis", operated by companies Cruise and Waymo. The group encourages residents to place traffic cones on the hood of these vehicles, which seems to paralyze them.

Afergan stepped outside to check it out. Sure enough, a self-driving cab from the company Cruise, which is majority-owned by General Motors, stood frozen in the middle of the street, its hazard lights blinking. A bright-orange cone was perched on the robotaxi’s hood.

“At the time, I thought it was a dumb prank,” Afergan told me later. “But one friend said, ‘No, I’ve heard about this.’ Until then I didn’t know that there are a bunch of people who are anti–autonomous vehicles.”

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content