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Uber failed to help cities go green — will robotaxis, too?

Illustration of a self-driving taxi in busy traffic. There is a haze of pollution around all of it.
Illustration by Nico H. Brausch for The Verge

Robotaxi companies are eager to present themselves with a green halo.

“Climate change is the single biggest issue we face as a global community,” Cruise declared in a blog post published on Earth Day 2022. “Each of us has an opportunity to make an impact. Cruise knows the AV industry can –– and should –– help lead the charge.” Its rival Waymo seems to agree. In a post this summer, the company stated, “Cities where we operate gain another zero-emission transportation option, which could help them meet their climate goals.”

Sustainability is critical to the public pitch of robotaxi companies, which are under growing scrutiny after California regulators suspended Cruise’s driverless permit last month due to safety concerns. But the idea…

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