Robotaxi torched just one week after autonomous vehicle hit a cyclist
(Web Desk) – Vandals have targeted a driverless taxi in San Francisco, smashing its windows, covering it in paint and torching it.
Fireworks were also placed inside the car during the incident on Saturday evening, according to a report in The Autopian, though no passengers were inside at the time.
The vehicle involved was owned and operated by Waymo, the autonomous driving unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Footage of the incident was captured by Frisco Live 415 and posted to YouTube, together with a video showing firefighters dealing with the aftermath.
A spokesperson for Waymo confirmed that one of its vehicles had been targeted and said it was working with local safety officials to respond to the situation.
“At approximately 9pm on Saturday, 10 February, a fully autonomous Waymo vehicle was navigating on Jackson Street in San Francisco when a crowd surrounded and vandalised the vehicle, breaking the window and throwing a firework inside, which set the vehicle on fire,” the spokesperson said.
“The vehicle was not transporting any riders and no injuries have been reported.”
The vandalism comes amid increasing frustration with driverless cars in San Francisco, which is one of only two cities in the US to authorise their use on public roads.
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