What simply occurred? A mob attacked and destroyed a self-driving Waymo robotaxi over the weekend, with no clear motive behind the incident. The car, which was empty on the time, had its home windows smashed, was set on hearth and coated in graffiti as the group cheered.
The assault passed off at roughly 9 pm on Saturday, February tenth. The Waymo car was navigating Jackson Avenue in Chinatown when it was surrounded by individuals.
– Michael Vandi (@michael_vandi) February 11, 2024
In accordance with The Autopian, there was a small visitors holdup with the Waymo car on the entrance. Somebody then determined to leap on its hood and smash the windshield, prompting one other individual to leap on the hood.
Issues escalated from this level; a skateboard and different objects have been used to interrupt different home windows, individuals began overlaying the automobile in graffiti, and lit fireworks have been thrown inside, setting the Jaguar I-Tempo on hearth.
Precisely why the group determined to destroy the Waymo car is unclear, although there was rising resentment towards robotaxis from San Francisco residents for a very long time. Again in July final 12 months, the activist group Protected Avenue Insurgent began a protest towards driverless Waymo and Cruise automobiles within the metropolis that concerned inserting visitors cones on their hoods to disable them.
Self-driving automobiles have been chargeable for a number of incidents in San Francisco, together with blocking visitors, crashing right into a bus, and even operating over a canine. Tensions have been raised final summer time after the California Public Utilities Fee gave its approval for autonomous car firms to develop robotaxis’ hours of operation to 24/7 whereas charging for rides.
Essentially the most critical incident occurred final October: a pedestrian was struck by a human-driven automobile, hurling her in entrance of a Cruise driverless taxi that ran her over and stopped with its rear tire nonetheless on her leg. The car tried a pullover maneuver after it stopped whereas the pedestrian was nonetheless below the wheels, dragging her one other 20 ft. The accident led to Cruise’s allow to function robotaxis in California being suspended, the corporate halting its operations nationwide, the CEO resigning, and 1 / 4 of all employees being laid off.