HomeStock MarketSan Francisco crowd destroys Waymo self-driving car in fire incident.

San Francisco crowd destroys Waymo self-driving car in fire incident.

Violent Attack on Waymo Self-Driving Car in San Francisco

Waymo Self-Driving Car Vandalized and Set on Fire

A violent incident occurred in San Francisco on Saturday, involving a Waymo self-driving car being vandalized and set on fire by a crowd using fireworks. This represents the most destructive attack on driverless vehicles in the U.S. thus far.

Crowd Surrounds and Damages Vehicle

On Saturday night, a crowd surrounded a white SUV in San Francisco’s Chinatown district, during which the vehicle was attacked. Videos of the incident were posted by a witness, showing people celebrating China’s Lunar New Year by setting off fireworks and subsequently damaging the car.

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Severity of the Attack

The incident escalated as individuals jumped onto the hood of the Waymo vehicle, breaking its windshield and causing further damage. The vehicle was eventually set on fire, with images showing it engulfed in flames and emitting a plume of black smoke.

Response from Waymo and Authorities

Waymo confirmed that a firework was thrown inside the vehicle, resulting in the fire. The company emphasized that no riders were present in the car, and no injuries have been reported. Local safety officials are collaborating with the company to address the situation.

Investigation and Previous Incidents

The San Francisco Police Department is investigating the cause of the fire, and it is not yet known whether any arrests have been made. This incident is not the first time self-driving cars have been harassed, with previous incidents in San Francisco and Phoenix involving disruptions to the operation of driverless vehicles. These incidents have raised concerns about public hostility towards autonomous vehicles.

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Waymo’s Future Plans

Despite the recent events, Waymo remains committed to serving riders and expanding its driverless ride-hailing service to other cities. The company is also working to resolve recent incidents involving its vehicles, including a collision with a cyclist in San Francisco.

Regulatory Impact

Following a significant accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle operated by General Motors’ Cruise unit, regulatory scrutiny on self-driving vehicles has intensified. The incident led to the suspension of certain testing licenses, highlighting the need for stringent safety measures in autonomous vehicle operations.

Completely driverless test vehicles, mostly from Cruise and Waymo fleets, traveled nearly 3.3 million miles (5.3 million km) in California last year.

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