© Reuters. A Waymo self-driving robotaxi, owned by Alphabet’s autonomous driving unit, is engulfed in flames after the San Francisco Fireplace Division stated in a press release on social media that fireworks had 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 newest public assault on such automobiles 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 shifting 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 hearth division posted photos on social media of the charred stays of the automotive and stated a firework began the blaze.
“The car was not transporting any riders and no accidents have been reported. We’re working carefully with native security officers to answer the state of affairs,” the corporate stated. It didn’t say what brought on the assault.
The San Francisco Police Division stated it was investigating the reason for the hearth.
The incident was not the primary time individuals have attacked self-driving vehicles, however its severity might illustrate rising public hostility following a pedestrian-dragging accident final 12 months involving a car operated by Normal Motors (NYSE:)’ Cruise unit.
On earlier events in San Francisco and Phoenix, Arizona, teams have disrupted the operations of self-driving automobiles, blocking their path, attempting to enter the automobiles and leaping on their hoods. Movies that went viral confirmed individuals placing orange site visitors cones on high of the automobiles to impede their sensors and pressure them to cease abruptly.
Final week, a driverless Waymo automotive collided with a bike owner in San Francisco, inflicting minor accidents. The incident is being reviewed by the state’s auto regulator.
Waymo affords 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 automobiles from testing.
The newest incident passed off throughout Chinese language Lunar New Yr holidays and a day earlier than the Tremendous Bowl NFL championship involving the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs.