An angry mob destroyed a Waymo self-driving taxi in San Francisco on Monday night. The incident occurred around 9pm local time when a group of approximately 20 individuals surrounded the stationary Waymo vehicle.
While footage of the event has surfaced online, it remains unclear what prompted the mob to destroy the vehicle. Speculation has arisen following a recent incident involving a Waymo vehicle colliding with a cyclist in the city.
Waymo attributed the collision to the cyclist suddenly emerging from behind a large truck, catching the autonomous vehicle off-guard. However, there is no evidence suggesting that aggrieved cyclists were involved in the attack on the Waymo vehicle.
San Francisco’s streets have witnessed the presence of self-driving cars, including those operated by Cruise robotaxi, until recent controversies prompted the company to halt its entire fleet. Incidents involving Cruise vehicles, such as a woman being struck and dragged by a driverless car and others getting stuck in wet cement, have raised concerns about the safety and reliability of autonomous technology.
Despite celebrating one million miles of autonomous operations without a fatality in early 2023, Waymo has faced twenty “contact incidents,” half of which involved human drivers colliding with its vehicles.
As investigations into the motive behind the attack on the Waymo vehicle continue, the incident underscores ongoing debates surrounding the safety and public acceptance of self-driving technology.
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