Reuters: California lawmakers call for stricter regulation of autonomous vehicles

California lawmakers and labor unions rallied on Monday to call for laws to not allow autonomous trucks without human drivers, amid rising safety concerns after accidents involving self-driving taxis from General Motors and Alphabet.

A robotaxi from Alphabet's (GOOGL.O), opens new tab Waymo was torched by people celebrating Chinese New Year on Saturday, marking the most destructive attack so far on driverless vehicles in the U.S. This comes after a Waymo vehicle hit a cyclist at a city intersection last week and a major accident in October where a GM (GM.N), opens new tab Cruise robotaxi hit and dragged a pedestrian 20 feet (6 meters).

The act of vandalism reflect a chaotic environment for robotaxis in San Francisco, where public ire has risen after the dragging and bicyclist accidents. State lawmakers are pushing for stricter control through two bills.

"Those accidents have put an exclamation point on the need for legislation," Senator Dave Cortese, sponsor of a bill that would also give cities control over permits for AVs and enforcement of AV-related laws. Now, only state regulators control permitting.

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