In a San Francisco Examiner article, CEE Professor Susan Shaheen comments on essential factors that the California Public Utilities Commission should consider in their decision to uphold or negate both Cruise and Waymo's requests for confidentiality regarding trip-level data. Both companies filed requests with the CPUC to protect trip data from riders, including location, date, time, and trip distance offered through their autonomous vehicle ride-hailing services. As autonomous ride-hailing services increase demand, trip-level data could help cities understand how they affect traffic, public transit, and street safety.
Shaheen says that the ongoing case "is reminiscent of policy developments regulating (transportation network company) TNC fleets like Uber and Lyft. Without these data, it can be challenging for cities to manage and optimize access to the public rights-of-way."
She adds that "protecting data of individuals (privacy) and proprietary interests of companies are important considerations in how to manage sensitive data in the context of the public good."
Check out the full SF Examiner article here to learn more about Shaheen's commentary and the ongoing case.