In San Francisco, in the Chinatown area, a group of people destroyed and set fire to a autonomous taxi Waymo. No one was in the car. The act of vandalism comes after a series of tensions towards self-driving vehicles, following some accidents.
Waymo autonomous taxi attacked and set on fire in San Francisco
According to reports from The Autopian (via The Verge), a person jumped on the hood of the vehicle, smashed the windshield and triggered an act of vandalism by several people, which even led to the car being set on fire. The incident aroused curiosity and even applause from those watching the scene.
The incident took place around 9pm, when an individual started the vandalism. The surrounding crowd soon surrounded the car, covering it in spray paint, breaking windows and, eventually, setting fire. The rapid intervention of the firefighters was unable to prevent the flames from completely engulfing the vehicle. You can see the results in the video below.
According to the statements of Sandy Karp, representative of Waymo, the autonomous taxi was “not carrying any passengers” during the attack. The fire was apparently caused by firecrackers thrown into the car.
This incident occurs in a context of growing tension between San Francisco residents and autonomous vehicle companies. Not long ago one of the rivals of Waymo, Cruise, would have caused an accident in which one of the vehicles involved a pedestrian. The local community has shown its opposition to licensing autonomous vehicles to operate 24/7.
In another episode, last week, a Waymo car allegedly hit a cyclist, who was pedaling behind a truck, which appears to have blocked the view of the autonomous car.
Although those responsible for this act of vandalism have not been found, American newspapers seem to link this episode to protests over accidents caused by autonomous taxis. However, at the moment there are no confirmations or denials about it. We will keep you informed.
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The VergeThe Autopian