45. Will an ordinary person be able to take a self-driving taxi from Oakland → SF during rush hour at the end of 2023?
resolved Jan 1

Scott Alexander will spend some time January 1 checking whether he can get via his house in Oakland to the Presidio in San Francisco via self-driving car at rush hour. He will probably not actually take the trip, but he will resolve this as positive if it looks like he could take the trip with less than one hour of figuring out how and less than $500 cost. Currently (late 2022) he estimates he cannot do this, because the self-driving taxis in SF only operate at night and won’t cross the bridge into Oakland.

This is question #45 in the Astral Codex Ten 2023 Prediction Contest. The contest rules and full list of questions are available here. Market will resolve according to Scott Alexander’s judgment, as given through future posts on Astral Codex Ten.

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sold Ṁ9 of YES

Scott Alexander gives some clarification here:

7. On January 1, 2024, will an ordinary person be able to take a self-driving taxi from Oakland → SF during rush hour? Is the person being selected from a waitlist ok? You're saying "self-driving taxis in SF only operate at night" in your clarification, but these are waitlist only (as per a commentator).

I think the plain text of the question gives me one hour from the time I start worrying about this to make the trip, so if I have to worry about waitlists more than one hour before, no.

bought Ṁ50 of YES
bought Ṁ30 of YES

I've traveled via Waymo taxi from the Presidio to nearby locations several times at this point, during the day and night. They seem to be operating at basically all times.

It's not that hard to envision a world where they expand the vehicle reach to Oakland in the next 10 months.

predicted YES

@CarsonGale Waymo just sent notice they are expanding access to Mission, Potrero Hill, and Dogpatch neighborhoods.

This does not seem like the style of thing our civilization is good at doing, and in particular is a thing that has time and again proven more difficult to actually implement than it looks. We’ve had self-driving cars moving around for a while in friendly conditions but I don’t see them letting these get injected into heavy traffic at rush hour. I am buying M250 of NO, knocking this down to 21%.

- Zvi Mowshowitz

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