The San Francisco Giants recently joined the Major League trend of teams putting marketing on their jerseys. While the move towards ever more advertising seems inevitable, the Giants incurred a little more wrath than other teams because they sold their hitherto ad-free jersey sleeve real estate to Cruise, one of the self-driving cars San Franciscans love to hate. As inevitable as more ads are, driverless vehicles are even more so. And SF just took put the pedal to the metal. Robotaxis can now charge for 24/7 rides in San Francisco “After several hours of public testimony, the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday granted permits to allow both Cruise and Waymo to charge for rides around the clock in San Francisco.” Expect road rage to follow. It turns out that screaming at a car without a driver is even more satisfying than screaming at a vehicle with one.

+ “Cars without drivers have become a common sight on San Francisco’s winding, hilly and often foggy streets. Thursday’s vote stripped most limitations on operating and charging for rides, essentially creating more ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft — just without the drivers. It’s a pivotal moment for the autonomous transportation industry, expanding one of the biggest test cases for a world in which many companies envision not needing drivers at all.” WaPo (Gift Article): California just opened the floodgates for self-driving cars. (Now if we can just get these cars to frequent some local businesses and rent some office space, we’ll be set.)

+ While it may seem hard to believe that computers could be any worse at driving than humans, a lot of first responders are finding that’s the case (at least for now). California allows robo-taxis to expand and emergency responders aren’t happy. “The incidents include running through yellow emergency tape, blocking firehouse driveways and refusing to move for first responders.” This controversy reminds me of the introduction of Google Maps. My wife and I used to yell at each other about directions, but after software took over, we were both on the same side, yelling at Google. (I’m convinced that Google still sends me on the slowest route everywhere in retaliation.)