This Week In Rideshare: Waymo, Women, and Delays.

3 min readApr 11, 2024

Robotaxis hit LA, new safety features for women, and Minneapolis takes a pause. LegalRideshare breaks it down.


Robotaxis have hit LA. NBC News reported:

Waymo said Tuesday that more than 50,000 people were on its waitlist to use the service. The company did not say how many users it would allow to fully use the app starting Wednesday. Last month, the company said it was starting with a Los Angeles fleet of fewer than 50 cars covering a 63-square-mile area from Santa Monica to downtown L.A. Los Angeles County has a population of 9.7 million people.

The service works similarly to other ride-hailing smartphone apps such as Flywheel, Lyft and Uber, except that Waymo’s vehicles have no human drivers present. Riders follow instructions on the app and through the vehicle’s sound system, though Waymo workers can assist remotely.


Uber is dialing up safety features for women. Yahoo! Finance reported:

Uber Technologies said on Wednesday that it is boosting its safety features for passengers around the world, as it looks to minimize risk and ensure security for women at night.

The features allow passengers during a ride to select up to four safety preferences including encrypted audio recordings, PIN verification and live location sharing.

Uber has been facing scrutiny for years regarding its responses to thousands of alleged assaults by drivers with complaints ranging from failure to conduct proper background checks on drivers to inadequate safety training.

The company faces a number of lawsuits from victims accusing the ride-sharing platform of failing to prevent sexual assaults against passengers.

Uber said in 2022 it had received about 3,800 reports of severe sexual assault in the U.S. in 2019 and 2020, down from nearly 6,000 over the prior two years.


Uber isn’t leaving Minneapolis just yet. MPR News reported:

The Minneapolis City Council voted Thursday to delay the implementation of an ordinance that requires higher pay for rideshare drivers by two months. The move temporarily averts the departure of rideshare companies Uber and Lyft, who have threatened to stop service in the city if the ordinance is enacted.

Council members voted unanimously to reconsider the ordinance after pressure from rideshare companies and advocates for people who are disabled, as well as concerns from the business community.

The council is working to prevent disruptions in rideshare services by working with new rideshare companies and highlighting public transit options, Cashman said. A city spokesperson earlier this week said there are four other rideshare companies applying for licenses, although none have yet been approved.

“This extension is good faith on our side,” Osman said. “This extension might not influence the threat of Uber and Lyft companies saying they’re leaving, let’s be realistic, we’re hostages to them, if we had other companies, we would not be in this place today.”

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