© Reuters. A Waymo self-driving robotaxi, owned by Alphabet’s autonomous driving unit, is engulfed in flames after the San Francisco Fire Department stated in a press release on social media that fireworks have been thrown contained in the car, in San Francisco, California Febru
By Hyunjoo Jin and Abhirup Roy
(Reuters) -A crowd vandalized and set fireplace to a Waymo self-driving automotive utilizing a firework in San Francisco on Saturday, the Alphabet-owned firm and authorities stated, marking the most recent public assault on such autos within the U.S.
The incident started round 9 p.m. PST on Saturday (0500 GMT Sunday) within the metropolis’s Chinatown district when a crowd surrounded a white sport utility car that was transferring alongside the road, an organization spokesperson stated.
Video footage posted on social media confirmed one individual drawing graffiti on the SUV and one other utilizing a skateboard to smash one of many home windows, prompting cheers from the group. Footage confirmed the car on fireplace with an enormous plume of black smoke within the air.
The fireplace division posted footage on social media of the charred stays of the automotive and stated a firework began the blaze.
“The vehicle was not transporting any riders and no injuries have been reported. We are working closely with local safety officials to respond to the situation,” the corporate stated. It didn’t say what triggered the assault.
The San Francisco Police Department stated it was investigating the reason for the fireplace.
The incident was not the primary time folks have attacked self-driving automobiles, however its severity might illustrate rising public hostility following a pedestrian-dragging accident final 12 months involving a car operated by General Motors (NYSE:)’ Cruise unit.
On earlier events in San Francisco and Phoenix, Arizona, teams have disrupted the operations of self-driving autos, blocking their path, making an attempt to enter the autos and leaping on their hoods. Videos that went viral confirmed folks placing orange site visitors cones on prime of the autos to hinder their sensors and drive them to cease abruptly.
Last week, a driverless Waymo automotive collided with a bicycle owner in San Francisco, inflicting minor accidents. The incident is being reviewed by the state’s auto regulator.
Waymo gives driverless ride-hailing service in Phoenix and is working to develop the service to Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.
On Oct. 2, 2023, a pedestrian hit by one other car was thrown into the trail of a self-driving Cruise car and dragged 20 toes (6 meters). California subsequently suspended the corporate’s driverless testing license, and Cruise pulled all its U.S. self-driving autos from testing.
The newest incident befell throughout Chinese Lunar New Year holidays and a day earlier than the Super Bowl NFL championship involving the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.