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Thousands of Cruise riders asking for service expansion, share their stories

Self-driving cars are no longer a hypothetical future, but an active, available service on offer to people who need it. Every day, a growing number of San Francisco residents are using autonomous vehicles to get around the city.

In fact, over 2,600 people have signed a petition urging the California Public Utilities Commision to expand our fared autonomous ridehail, in order to “revolutionize the way we travel, making our roads safer and our transportation systems more sustainable and inclusive.” This is in addition to over 100 positive comments submitted to the CPUC from individuals, accessibility advocates, small businesses and local community groups supporting this expansion of Cruise’s service. The petition notes the over 4,000 lives lost on California roads in 2022, and AVs’ excellent safety record

As Cruise’s service has iterated and expanded, so too has the community of people turning to AVs for reliable, safe, and emissions-free transportation. Many shared their experience using our service with us, and we wanted to share them with you. Through their stories and feedback, it is undeniable that AVs are positively impacting peoples’ ability to safely move about the city.

Matias, Mission Dolores: Driverless AVs provide me a safe, inexpensive, and relaxed way to travel around the city. I’m an avid user of public transportation, and take the bus to work every day. But at night, it’s hard to get around in a way that feels safe without calling a rideshare, which has its own risks. These days I always prefer to call a Cruise when possible. It’s super easy and motivates me to enjoy more of the city. I’ve been recommending Cruise to my friends, and their minds are blown when they join me for a ride. Driverless AVs are the future, and should be adopted to fill in public transportation gaps in a safe and accessible way.

Quinn Murray, Russian Hill: Cruise is my ride to work every morning. I call a car and it’s at my front door in five minutes. It’s so much easier than inconsistent public transit, and the ride is comfortable and clean every day. Most importantly, I always feel safe in Cruise and their customer support team makes a point to be extremely professional and responsive.

Melody Lee, Lower Pac Heights: As someone who lives in the city without a car, driverless rides have provided me with a safer and more accessible way to get around the city. Safety is definitely a concern for me as a single woman, and it’s always a relief when my Cruise arrives to take me home after a night out. Other than being a super cool experience riding in a self-driving car, the whole process and journey is seamless. Plus I trust the vehicle to keep me out of danger by not driving aggressively.

Griffin L.: Cruise cars are so nice to be in. I can completely focus on whatever work I'm doing on my laptop, or talk with other people without worrying about an Uber driver listening in. I feel extremely safe and secure, even more so than when I'm in a car with human drivers I don't know. And they're super exciting to ride.

Tina Tavakolian, SOMA: I’m always on high alert when I’m using a rideshare service alone because you never know what to expect from a rideshare driver or their personal car. Additionally, the streets of SF have a lot of impulsive drivers, so it feels extra nice to know that I can rely on software that’s always putting my safety first. A huge plus is that Cruise has the ability to maintain all of their cars and they are always squeaky clean! I think the only way to continuously improve our quality of life is to progress with new technologies. AVs are a technology that has the potential to radically reduce car crashes due to human error, and increase efficiency during day to day life. The industry will create new jobs and, overall, provides a super clean and super easy service that continues to improve! It benefits me personally because I am able to depend on a clean and safe ride anywhere I go in the city!

Jason Spafford, Dolores Heights: Supporting AV technology is common sense, and it aligns with San Francisco's Vision Zero plan. If San Francisco truly believes in having 0 traffic deaths, then the city has the moral obligation to support AV technology at a policy level. When my wife and I take our dog for a walk, there are too many instances of drivers flying past us inches away, completely ignoring stop signs. My family and I never have to guess if Cruise is going to decide to follow traffic rules today. No matter what time of day, how it was feeling at work, if it received some bad news, self-driving cars always create a safe environment for my wife, my dog, and myself.

From an anonymous rider: As someone who is legally blind, I have been unable to drive my whole life. Uber is fine, but it can also be weird at times - people canceling on me inexplicably, odd driver habits in their cars, drivers texting me where I'm going (to ascertain what the ride pay will be). Also, I live in the Mission so walking home at night can be challenging. Riding Cruise has been nice. I have a reliable, safe, clean way to get home, without stress or questionable situations in someone's car.'

David C.: I have loved seeing the Cruise vehicles in our neighborhood. We bike and walk most places and the self-driving vehicles can be relied on to always stop, yield to pedestrians, and never speed. One story that comes to mind is one of my first rides with Cruise. I could not figure out why the car was not progressing at an intersection. A moment later, a pedestrian walked across the street wearing all dark clothing at night. If I was relieved I wasn't driving because there is no way I would have seen the pedestrian on my own.

Minling L.: I don’t have a car because driving in the city is hard with steep hills, narrow roads, and foggy weather. The city has limited parking space, not to mention I’m really bad at parallel parking. My commute experience in the city was such a nightmare until I took Cruise. All of my problems were gone because of their AVs. All I need to do is hop in and let the driverless car do its thing, and it has my trust.

Austin B: I've been using Cruise to get to my art studio more often! I work a day job, so I generally can't get to the studio until the evening. So many times I’ve been discouraged to go because of parking in the city or I’m too tired from driving already. I love that I don’t have to worry about those things, and it encourages me to go out on my own more often. I feel safer getting from point A to B.

Luis A.: I don’t own a car since it’s near impossible to find a parking spot in North Beach and Little Italy, so I rely fully on ridesharing and carsharing. AVs are reliable and make me feel safe, compared to the traditional rideshare options. Some friends have also been using Cruise in downtown SF, and their experience has been very positive too. Everyone feels safer inside an AV than in an Uber or Lyft. Relying less on cars and turning to EVs is important for cities to achieve their carbon-free goals. Since not everyone can currently afford an EV, Cruise helps more people make the shift to EVs.

Dave Hilburn, Ingleside: Safety is one of my favorite things about Cruise. I feel safe when riding inside a Cruise car or riding my bike alongside one.

Metinee Ding: I love how safe and comfortable it feels to ride in a Cruise car. As a woman, I’ve grown up with warnings about being alone in taxis, and now Ubers. It was such a relief to finally be able to feel safe while traveling home alone at night. I love that I can adjust the temperature of the car, listen to music, and sing as loudly as I want. Best of all, I don’t have to worry about making small talk with someone who, for a small period of time, holds the fate of my life in their hands. Thank you Cruise for all that you are working towards to make this world a safer place for us all.

Christopher Neill, Potrero Hill: Cruise AVs are a fun way to get from point A to point B, but I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as too much user feedback to identify and correct issues (especially before a wider user-base can experience problems). That said, I have seen measurable improvement with the service, from getting rid of the "welcome" voice, improved routes, better handling of tricky ad-hoc driving decisions, app improvements, and changes in driving behaviors (wide turns, long waits at stop signs, hard braking, maintaining lanes, getting stuck, etc.). I love taking random joyrides with Cruise.

Makan A.: Walking in San Francisco in the evening can feel very unsafe. Cruise keeps you safe by picking you up and dropping you off at a reasonable price point, without compromising your safety and wallet.

Howard Hsu, Bernal Heights: Cruise AVs are predictable and consistent. That doesn't mean there aren't kinks to work out, but as a whole I believe they are safer than the human drivers you get with an Uber or Lyft. The vehicles are speed limited, so you don't have rushed drivers speeding to get to the next fare. AVs follow lane centering rules, so you don't ever end up with a tired driver that drifts in and out of their lane. I also enjoy that you can really focus on what you want to do in the vehicle, as opposed to making small talk with a random driver. Cruise AVs have enabled my wife and I to go out more than we regularly would. Whether it was dealing with traffic, looking for parking, or the consideration of drinking while driving, there were plenty of reasons for us not to go out. Cruise eliminates those excuses. It's helped our relationship in creating more moments for us to connect.

Stephanie L., Lower Haight: I love how available Cruise cars are late at night. When I leave an event, it’s nice to know that if I call a Cruise there will almost always be one available.

Joel, Sunset: All of my rides have been safe, pleasant and comfortable. I rarely drive my family car because of the high costs of gas, parking, and the alarming number of car jackings, stolen cars, and catalytic converter thefts in the city. My employer provides a Muni pass, and I like to use public transit, but unfortunately vehicles are often very crowded. Many people don’t wear masks or threaten other riders. It’s not always safe or convenient waiting at transfer points or walking home my stop. An automated electric car ride to my home is a safe, environmentally-friendly option.

Ryan Mak, Outer Richmond: Driverless Rides are very helpful for me. Me and my friends go out drinking a lot and often don't go home until 2 or 3 am. Ubers are rare as most drivers don't want to drive that late, and public transportation is slow and dangerous. Cruise is beneficial as it runs all through the night and is able to take my friends home safely even through dangerous areas.

Marlon Murcia, Excelsior: With Cruise, I am able to get to and from anywhere I need to go in a safe, comfortable, and convenient way. I have ease of mind knowing I can access a Cruise to get to any location.

Andreas Klintberg, Nob Hill: When you use Cruise, you always know what you get: a smooth ride adhering to the speed limit and all laws. I’ve had too many scary experiences with other services where drivers are reckless and speeding.

David Mazza, SOMA: To date, not a single AV has been caught driving while drunk, impaired, tired, high, texting, or any of the other common ways accidents are caused by human error. Our community is safer in every possible way thanks to AVs.