- A Waymo robotaxi was set on fireplace by a crowd in San Francisco on Saturday.
- The motive is unclear, however distrust towards driverless expertise within the metropolis is excessive.
- There have been a number of accidents for the reason that metropolis green-lit increasing robotaxi companies.
A San Francisco crowd torched a Waymo robotaxi on Saturday evening, the native fireplace division mentioned, amid ongoing distrust of driverless expertise within the metropolis.
The automobile was “surrounded and then graffiti’d, windows were broken, and firework lit on fire inside the vehicle,” which decreased the automobile to an ashen shell, based on a publish on X by the San Francisco Fire Department.
Waymo Vehicle surrounded after which graffiti’d, home windows have been damaged, and firework lit on fireplace contained in the automobile which in the end caught the complete automobile on fireplace. #SFFD
Photos by Séraphine Hossenlopp pic.twitter.com/aOTqL3Rk8V
— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) February 11, 2024
Footage shared by an onlooker, Michael Vandi, on X exhibits a crowd surrounding the automobile throughout Lunar New Year celebrations in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
One member of the gang may be heard shouting “Light that shit on fire!”
Videos from native information shops, additionally shared on X, present the stays of the automobile as firefighters douse it in water.
There have been no individuals within the automobile, and no one was injured, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing police.
The fireplace is being investigated, the outlet mentioned.
The motive for the assault on the robocar is unclear, however autonomous automobile firms have come below heightened scrutiny for the reason that expertise has unfold in San Francisco’s streets.
Waymo started trialing driverless taxis below varied restrictions in San Francisco in 2022.
But it is had teething issues — a Wired investigation in April final yr gathered appreciable dashcam footage exhibiting Waymo autos cluttering up roads and blocking public transport autos.
In May, police have been flummoxed by a Waymo taxi that drove into the scene of a fireplace and virtually ran over a fireplace hose.
Nonetheless, driverless taxi firms got the inexperienced mild in August to launch expanded companies within the metropolis.
The transfer unleashed chaos on the roads virtually instantly.
Cruise, majority owned by General Motors, shortly halved its fleet after a spate of accidents and visitors jams, and by October — after a girl was pinned below one among its automobiles — town had revoked its permits.
Waymo, which is owned by Alphabet, has mentioned that its autonomous autos are “significantly” safer than these pushed by people, pointing to a 2023 research based mostly on information it shared with insurance coverage firm Swissre.
Waymo didn’t instantly reply to Business Insider’s request for touch upon this newest incident, despatched outdoors enterprise hours.