City Attorney David Chiu

City Attorney statement on DMV suspension of Cruise autonomous vehicles in San Francisco due to safety concerns

City Attorney applauds DMV decision and reiterates call on CPUC to reverse unlimited expansion of AVs

SAN FRANCISCO (October 24, 2023) — San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu issued the following statement today in response to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) immediately suspending Cruise LLC’s (Cruise) autonomous vehicle (AV) deployment and driverless testing permits, citing safety concerns. DMV and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) have overlapping jurisdiction over AVs. The City previously asked the CPUC to require AVs to meet safety requirements before authorizing their expansion in San Francisco and to do so incrementally.

City Attorney David Chiu
City Attorney David Chiu

“We’re grateful for today’s action by the DMV, which vindicates the significant public safety concerns raised by San Francisco,” said City Attorney David Chiu. “We hope the CPUC, which regulates the ability of AVs to carry passengers for hire, will similarly recognize the current impacts of AVs on San Francisco streets, including blocking traffic, interfering with the transportation network, and impeding our first responders and grant our request to reconsider its decision that allowed for the unfettered expansion of AVs in San Francisco. While we support the promise of this technology to improve transportation, we urge the CPUC to come up with a sensible, measured plan for the future based on safety and performance metrics.”

Over the last year, there have been numerous reports of poor AV performance creating safety hazards and interfering with first responder operations, public transit, street construction workers, and the flow of traffic.

On September 11, San Francisco officials, led by City Attorney David Chiu, filed administrative motions with the CPUC requesting it reconsider its August 10 resolutions granting AV companies, Cruise and Waymo, the ability to immediately expand their commercial AV fleets without restriction. San Francisco has demanded more transparency in reporting on AV incidents and also previously filed a motion to stay the implementation of the CPUC’s decision. The CPUC has not acted on these motions.

San Francisco’s applications for rehearing can be found here and here. The motions to stay can be found here and here.