Home » Vandalism of Waymo Self-Driving Car in San Francisco Sparks Safety Concerns

Vandalism of Waymo Self-Driving Car in San Francisco Sparks Safety Concerns

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Vandalism of Waymo Self-Driving Car in San Francisco Sparks Safety Concerns

A Waymo self-driving robotaxi, owned by Alphabet’s self-driving unit, was vandalized and set on fire in San Francisco this past weekend. The incident, which occurred in San Francisco’s Chinatown district, marked the most serious attack on self-driving cars in the United States to date. The crowd surrounded the moving white SUV, with one person breaking the windshield and others joining in to vandalize the car. The situation escalated when someone set off a firework inside, causing the car to catch fire.

Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet, confirmed the incident and stated that the car was not carrying passengers at the time. The San Francisco Police Department is currently investigating the cause of the fire.

Michael Vandi, a witness who shared videos of the incident, described how people were celebrating China’s Lunar New Year with fireworks. He described the chaotic scene as some onlookers applauded the destruction of the car.

This is not the first time that self-driving cars have been the target of sabotage. Previous incidents in San Francisco and Phoenix, Arizona, have seen groups disrupting self-driving car operations. However, the severity of this latest attack could indicate growing public hostility, possibly stemming from an accident in which a pedestrian was dragged by a car operated by the Cruise unit of General Motors.

The incident comes as the self-driving car industry faces increased scrutiny. Waymo, in particular, has been expanding its operations, with plans to launch a full range of robotaxis in Los Angeles, despite regulatory challenges. The industry has faced challenges, including criticism for its post-crash responses. The recent incident adds to growing concerns about the safety and public acceptance of self-driving cars.

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Meanwhile, General Motors’ self-driving car division, Cruise, is also under scrutiny following a serious accident involving one of its self-driving taxis. A California judge recently urged Cruise to increase their settlement offer in the case.

The incident involving the Waymo self-driving car and the subsequent public hostility towards self-driving vehicles reflect the ongoing challenges and growing concerns facing the autonomous vehicle industry in the United States.

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