San Francisco aims to rein in tests of tech ideas on streets

ABC News | 12/10/2019 | Staff
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Tired of San Francisco streets being used as a testing ground for the latest delivery technology and transportation apps, city leaders are considering requiring businesses to get permits before trying out new high-tech ideas in public.

Supporters of the legislation, which the Board of Supervisors will take up Tuesday, say it would be the first of its kind in the U.S. They say it's long overdue in a city that's a hub for major tech companies but is more accustomed to reacting to the sudden arrival of new technology — such as when hundreds of dockless electric scooters appeared overnight last year.

Trend - Complaints - People - Cities - Country

The e-scooter trend has led to complaints from people in cities across the country.

The tech industry has showered San Francisco with high-paying jobs and cemented its reputation as a place for big ideas, but the success of home-grown companies Airbnb, Lyft and Uber has vexed some residents as streets have become more congested and the housing shortage has worsened.

Innovation - Technology - Residents - Pigs - Infrastructure

“I support innovation and technology, but our residents are not guinea pigs, and our public infrastructure is not a free-for-all," said Norman Yee, president of the Board of Supervisors who introduced the legislation.

The Office of Emerging Technology would serve as a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs who want to test their products in San Francisco's public space. Companies would not be allowed to experiment unless the office declares the tech in question a “net public good."

Criteria - Proposals - Companies - Share - Data

It's not clear how criteria will be used to evaluate proposals, but companies that share data, ensure public safety and privacy when testing, and promote job creation would fare better than those that don't.

The office would have oversight over new technology launched on, above or below city property or on public right-of-ways, but the legislation does not spell out all the possible technologies the office would oversee.

Yee

Yee said...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ABC News
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