In the incident that took place around 21:00 yesterday evening in San Francisco’s Chinatown district, a person set fire to a driverless Waymo taxi. The incident was carried out by the crowd who jumped on the hood of the vehicle, broke its windshield and surrounded the vehicle with applause.
Driverless taxi became unusable
The crowded group covered the vehicle with spray paint, broke its windows and then set it on fire. The taxi was completely engulfed in flames. Fire crews arrived at the scene when the flames completely surrounded the vehicle. Waymo representative Sandy Karp stated that the vehicle was fully autonomous at the time of the incident and there was no driver inside. He also stated that fireworks fired from inside the vehicle ignited the flames.
Public Information Officer Robert Rueca of the San Francisco Police Department confirmed that police responded to the incident at approximately 20:50 ET and that the taxi was already on fire at that time. Rueca added that there were no reports of injuries.
How safe are autonomous taxis?
A video published about the incident shows the electric Waymo Jaguar burning. This incident brings to the fore again the safety and acceptance issues facing driverless taxi technology.
Safety concerns continue to increase with the proliferation of autonomous vehicles. Such events can significantly impact how technology is received and accepted by society.
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