An autonomous vehicle drives through an intersection in SoMa, followed by two human-driven vehicles.

Photo by SFMTA Photography Department

San Francisco is a locus of Autonomous Vehicle (AV) deployment, including being the epicenter of privately operated commercial AV passenger services and the site of our local publicly-led Treasure Island Loop AV Shuttle Pilot. San Francisco continues to support the potential benefits of automated driving, provided deployment occurs in an incremental manner that:

  • protects public safety;
  • is accompanied by timely and thorough reporting;
  • and can demonstrate progress toward reaching California’s and San Francisco’s safety, transportation, climate and equity goals.

While San Francisco does not have permitting authority over AV Passenger Services, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors and Mayor have passed a unanimous policy resolution on AVs, and San Francisco transportation agencies (SFMTA and SFCTA) have been active partners to federal and state AV regulatory agencies, providing frequent input to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, California Department of Motor Vehicles and California Public Utilities Commission on AV operations, data/reporting, regulatory and policy matters (see Resources tab).

Given San Francisco’s dense and complex setting, San Francisco supports developing an incremental, performance-based approach to regulating and deploying AV passenger services, working in collaboration with AV companies, regulators, and community stakeholders.

San Francisco stands ready to partner in the development of a more mature regulatory framework, based on our unique experience and expertise in local AV operations.

Recent Transportation Authority Informational Hearing

For more information, watch our recent joint staff presentation (PDF) on San Francisco's AV Experience at the October 24 meeting of the Transportation Authority Board including a presentation by Professor Philip Koopman, of Carnegie Mellon University, October 24, 2023 (PDF). Watch a video of the full hearing here.

Related Project & Studies


TNCs 2020: A Profile of Ride-Hailing in California is the first comprehensive study of ride-hailing activity statewide, based on an analysis of annual reports filed by Uber and Lyft to the California Public Utilities Commission.

This report provides the first comprehensive analysis of how Transportation Network Companies Uber and Lyft collectively have affected roadway congestion in San Francisco.

This report provides an overview of existing state and local regulatory frameworks focusing on ride-hail companies, also known as TNCs.

This report provides the first comprehensive estimates of Uber and Lyft activity in the city.

We're working to better understand how emerging mobility services and technologies are influencing San Francisco’s transportation network.

This report provides the first comprehensive look at the rapidly evolving emerging mobility sector in San Francisco.

Public-private partnerships with emerging mobility companies may result in new opportunities to improve San Francisco’s transportation network.