March 1, 2024


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A crowd of people sets a driverless Waymo car on fire in San Francisco's Chinatown

A crowd of people sets a driverless Waymo car on fire in San Francisco's Chinatown

A self-driving Waymo robotaxi caught fire in San Francisco on Saturday.
Michael Vandy – Reuters

  • A Waymo robotaxi was set on fire on Saturday by a crowd in San Francisco.
  • The motive is unclear, but mistrust toward self-driving technology in the city is high.
  • There have been several incidents since the city gave the green light to expand robotaxi services.

A crowd of people in San Francisco set a Waymo robotaxi on fire Saturday evening, the local fire department said, amid continued mistrust of self-driving technology in the city.

A post on the San Francisco Fire Department's It has been reduced to ash.

Screenshots Shared by a viewerMichael Vandy, on X shows a crowd surrounding the vehicle during Lunar New Year celebrations in San Francisco's Chinatown.

A member of the crowd can be heard shouting: “Light this shit on fire!”

Video clips from local news agencies, Also shared on Xshowed the remains of the car as firefighters doused it with water.

There were no people in the car and no one was injured The Los Angeles Times reportedquoted by the police.

The outlet said the fire was being investigated.

Waymo spokesperson Sandy Karp confirmed the facts of the incident and told BI that the company is “working closely with local safety officials to respond to the situation.”

The motive behind the robot car attack is unclear, but self-driving car companies have come under intense scrutiny since the technology took to the streets of San Francisco.

Waymo began testing self-driving taxis in 2022 under various restrictions in San Francisco.

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But she was having teething problems – Wired investigation In April, extensive dashcam footage was collected showing Waymo vehicles congesting roads and blocking public transit vehicles.

In May, police were startled by a Waymo taxi that drove to the scene of a fire and nearly hit a fire hose.

However, self-driving taxi companies got the green light in August to launch expanded services in the city.

The move unleashed chaos on the roads almost immediately.

Cruise, which is majority owned by General Motors, quickly cut its fleet in half after a series of accidents and traffic jams, and by October — after a woman got pinned under one of its cars — the city revoked its permits.

Waymo, owned by Alphabet, said its self-driving vehicles are “significantly” safer than those driven by humans, noting… A 2023 study based on data shared with insurance company Swiss Re.