Robotaxis being rolled out in over a dozen US cities

Nearly two dozen states have passed legislation allowing for autonomous vehicles to be deployed and/or tested.

Published: August 31, 2023 8:06am

Robotaxis are operating or being tested in more than a dozen different cities with the hopes that autonomous vehicles will boost safety.

Phoenix, San Francisco and Austin are currently the only cities where people can hail an autonomous taxi, but the robotaxi company Cruise, owned by General Motors, announced that it will start testing in 14 other cities.

A larger rollout is expected to start in the Sun Belt, where the policies and the weather are more favorable as robotaxis tend to run into issues in the snow, Axios reported this week.

Meanwhile, 23 states have passed legislation allowing for autonomous vehicles to be tested and/or deployed, per the Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association. 

The main issue is figuring out who has authority over the self-driving cars. 

Normally, the federal government oversees vehicle safety and performance, while driver licensing, insurance and liability is controlled by states. Local road rules are controlled by cities.

"Cities need to have a plan for enforcing traffic laws when there is no driver," Carnegie Mellon associate professor Phil Koopman, an autonomous vehicle safety expert said.

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