Letter to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to Approve Waymo and Cruise Applications

Re:  Authorization for Waymo LLC Service in Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service Phase I Driverless Deployment Program (Res TL-19144); Authorization for Cruise LLC’s Expanded Service in Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service Phase I Driverless Deployment Program (Res TL-19145)

Dear President Reynolds:

On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”), I urge the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) to approve Waymo and Cruise’s applications for a Phase I Driverless Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service Deployment permit without further delay. The Chamber is committed to facilitating the safe development and deployment of automated vehicle technology across the United States to deliver the promise of this technology to business and the American public. Autonomous transportation is a globally competitive technology and California businesses are on the forefront of this technology.

The increased deployment of automated vehicles promises to increase motor vehicle safety, create significant economic benefits for businesses and consumers, enhance mobility for seniors and persons with disabilities, and improve the environment through reduced emissions. In July, the U.S. Chamber published a comprehensive report quantifying the societal and economic benefits of autonomous vehicles in the United States, including on safety, mobility, jobs, and the environment. The report makes the following findings:

  • Increased Safety: Autonomous vehicles could prevent 1,442,000 accidents and 12,000 fatalities, resulting in economic savings of $94 billion.
  • Enhanced Mobility and Access: Autonomous vehicles could increase annual vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by persons with disabilities by 4.6 billion miles, elderly individuals by 4.9 billion miles, and nondrivers by 2.4 billion miles.
  • Reduced Emissions: Autonomous vehicles could significantly improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions up to 8.2% and NOx emissions up to 8.9%, contributing to a healthier environment.
  • Strengthened Economic Competitiveness: The growing AV sector is critical to bolstering the future of America’s motor vehicle industry—which employs more than 4 million people—as well as enabling the growth of new and existing industries key to economic growth and competitiveness. Moreover, the mobility benefits of AVs include gains in jobs and income for nondrivers, disabled people, and people living in areas with limited access to public transit.

The Commission’s approval of Waymo and Cruise’s permit applications to enable the commercial use of their autonomous vehicles will help facilitate these benefits, which will ultimately benefit Californians. We agree that the CPUC should prioritize safety while also ensuring that California, and the United States, remain global leaders in automated vehicle technology. CPUC’s approval of Waymo and Cruise’s permit applications will hopefully serve as a model for other states.

The CUPC should encourage and allow Waymo and Cruise’s autonomous vehicle services by approving their applications without further delay, which will allow for safe deployment of autonomous vehicles in California.


Jordan Crenshaw
Senior Vice President
Chamber Technology Engagement Center
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

cc: California Public Utilities Commission; Commissioners Genevieve Shiroma, Darcie Houck, John Reynolds, and Karen Douglas