Waymo self-driving taxi vandalized and set ablaze by San Francisco crowd

midian182

Posts: 9,567   +120
Staff member
What just happened? A mob attacked and destroyed a self-driving Waymo robotaxi over the weekend, with no clear motive behind the incident. The vehicle, which was empty at the time, had its windows smashed, was set on fire and covered in graffiti as the crowd cheered.

The attack took place at approximately 9 pm on Saturday, February 10th. The Waymo vehicle was navigating Jackson Street in Chinatown when it was surrounded by people.

According to The Autopian, there was a small traffic holdup with the Waymo vehicle at the front. Someone then decided to jump on its hood and smash the windshield, prompting another person to jump on the hood.

Things escalated from this point; a skateboard and other objects were used to break other windows, people started covering the car in graffiti, and lit fireworks were thrown inside, setting the Jaguar I-Pace on fire.

Exactly why the crowd decided to destroy the Waymo vehicle is unclear, though there has been growing resentment toward robotaxis from San Francisco residents for a long time. Back in July last year, the activist group Safe Street Rebel started a protest against driverless Waymo and Cruise vehicles in the city that involved placing traffic cones on their hoods to disable them.

Self-driving vehicles have been responsible for several incidents in San Francisco, including blocking traffic, crashing into a bus, and even running over a dog. Tensions were raised last summer after the California Public Utilities Commission gave its approval for autonomous vehicle companies to expand robotaxis' hours of operation to 24/7 while charging for rides.

The most serious incident happened last October: a pedestrian was struck by a human-driven car, hurling her in front of a Cruise driverless taxi that ran her over and stopped with its rear tire still on her leg. The vehicle attempted a pullover maneuver after it stopped while the pedestrian was still under the wheels, dragging her another 20 feet. The accident led to Cruise's permit to operate robotaxis in California being suspended, the company halting its operations nationwide, the CEO resigning, and a quarter of all staff being laid off.

Permalink to story.

 
"Exactly why the crowd decided to destroy the Waymo vehicle is unclear"

Hmmmm........AI being posed to watch our every move and take our jobs, technology shoved in our face 24/7, I wonder why they might take the chance to destroy a robocar...

If only they would do this to traffic cameras like the British do.....
 
I love how *****s in Silicon Valley saw dystopian sci-fi like Blade Runner and others and went, "Hey, let's make the completely inhumane, dehumanizing futures in these movies a reality." I mean, why are there robotaxis? Because someone really, really liked Total Recall?

Because they’re useful and convenient.

A robotaxi is simply a cheaper uber.
 
"Exactly why the crowd decided to destroy the Waymo vehicle is unclear"

Hmmmm........AI being posed to watch our every move and take our jobs, technology shoved in our face 24/7, I wonder why they might take the chance to destroy a robocar...

If only they would do this to traffic cameras like the British do.....

Hopefully, no one outside of China uses Dahua & Hikvision brand camera's. There is a good story backing my claim but it would take too long to post here.
 
How are they useful and convenient? Have you used one? Give us your experience.

Automatic doors and ipads were originally from sci-fi too. If you know your history, human driven cars were a menace to life until laws and practices caught up to the invention.
 
Automatic doors and ipads were originally from sci-fi too. If you know your history, human driven cars were a menace to life until laws and practices caught up to the invention.
Just because something is from "sci fi" doesn't mean it is practical. There's plenty of stuff from Star Trek that never came to fruition, after all.
 
Just because something is from "sci fi" doesn't mean it is practical. There's plenty of stuff from Star Trek that never came to fruition, after all.
True, but self-driving cars will eventually save some of the 40,000 lives that die in automobile accidents each year in the US. We're probably still a decade away but it's getting there.
 
Of course, there are concerns to address. Regulations and practices will need to adapt, just like they did with human-driven cars. Security and infrastructure also need improvements. Plus, let's not forget the ethical dilemmas autonomous vehicles bring!
 
True, but self-driving cars will eventually save some of the 40,000 lives that die in automobile accidents each year in the US. We're probably still a decade away but it's getting there.
We were "a decade away" 20 years ago.

Fact is, until a computer can learn from events and anticipate future events, they will never replace humans. Oh, and once they don't needs sensors either.
 
Hmmmm........AI being posed to watch our every move and take our jobs, technology shoved in our face 24/7, I wonder why they might take the chance to destroy a robocar...
Stuff and nonsense. Don't cast these vandalous dregs of society as urban heroes. They saw an easy target and went for it -- nothing more. These are the same ruffians who smash windows, vandalize buildings, deface monuments, knock over graveyard tombstones, and (when they can get away with it) beat down little old ladies, just for the sheer joy of it. Those who can't create tend to delight in destruction.
 
Stuff and nonsense. Don't cast these vandalous dregs of society as urban heroes.

Our culture has no respect for authority or the rule of law. This kind of behavior is not acceptable in a civilized society it doesn't matter who owns the vehicle. The same people that knock over Targets and CVS every opportunity they get did this. It's out of hand.
 
.... until a computer can learn from events and anticipate future events, they will never replace humans. Oh, and once they don't needs sensors either.
How well do *you* function without your eyes, ears, nose, inner-ear balance sensors, and the millions of pressure sensors covering your skin?
 
Automatic doors and ipads were originally from sci-fi too. If you know your history, human driven cars were a menace to life until laws and practices caught up to the invention.
I said dystopian sci-fi. Dystopian. Total Recall is dystopian sci-fi. There's a scene in the movie involving robo taxis called Johnny Cabs, and it seems as if so much of tech these days is about comic book and sci-fi geeks trying to bring the dystopian sci-fi they saw growing up become reality, as opposed to enhancing the human experience, which is what technology used to be based around.
 
Last edited:
it seems as if so much of tech these days is about comic book and sci-fi geeks trying to bring the dystopian sci-fi they saw growing up become reality, as opposed to enhancing the human experience.
Horseless carriages, toting water from the village well, and toiling 12+ hours a day in the fields to grow food were about 'enhancing the human experience' too. Why'd you give those up?

When humans drive vehicles, they make mistakes. Cumulatively, those mistakes have killed nearly 100 million people. Let me put that into perspective for you.

--> 100,000,000

Self-driving vehicles will eventually end that. That's a goal to look forward too. Now go light that whale oil lamp and finish reading Pilgrim's Progress.
 
Last edited:
How are they useful and convenient? Have you used one? Give us your experience.

A car that shows up when you need it, takes you somewhere, and then leaves so you don't have to deal with parking and/or renting a car while traveling... Yeah, what could possibly be useful or convenient about that?

To be clear, taxis and ride-sharing have the exact same business model as robotaxis. Just because you don't understand it or live somewhere it is as useful, doesn't change the billion dollar industry of customers that want a ride.
 
Horseless carriages, toting water from the village well, and toiling 12+ hours a day in the fields to grow food were about 'enhancing the human experience' too. Why'd you give those up?
I'm going to repeat myself for the last time.

Tech used to be based around legitimate human needs and limitations. Now it's based on, "I saw a cool sci-fi growing up and want to make this a reality." That's the only reason why this tech was developed.
Self-driving vehicles will eventually end that. That's a goal to look forward too. Now go light that whale oil lamp and finish reading Pilgrim's Progress.
What is this supposed to mean? Please elaborate.

Never mind. This is just a typical intellectually lazy response to criticism about technology. But just remember--putting a stranger down on the internet is not going to change the public's negative perception of this increasingly invasive technology, and if most people hate it, it's not going to stand. What are you going to do when it turns out that on a planet of billions, 90% don't want this? Spend all your free time putting down each person at a time? To what purpose?
 
Last edited:
A car that shows up when you need it, takes you somewhere, and then leaves so you don't have to deal with parking and/or renting a car while traveling... Yeah, what could possibly be useful or convenient about that?
Oh, you mean like how taxis have been working for the past century? Kind of like that? I use car service all the time, and the cars show up when I need it, takes me somewhere and then leaves so I don't have to deal with parking and/or renting while traveling.

I mean, do you actually engage with car service in real life or is your enthusiasm over this technology nothing more than a navel gazing, ivory tower exercise, where it's more about satisfying a wish fulfillment fantasy of seeing the world look like something out The Fifth Element or Blade Runner, as opposed to really considering how human beings use car service in real life and whether they would really need robotaxis or not?
 
Last edited:
Oh, you mean like how taxis have been working for the past century? Kind of like that? ....tthe cars show up when I need it, takes me somewhere and then leaves....
Oh, you mean how horse-drawn carriages have been working? They roll up when you need them, take you somewhere, and leave. Why all this useless technology?

AI - driven vehicles will be faster, more dependable, cheaper than a cab, and far safer. Not only from avoiding traffic accidents, but from not having a driver in the vehicle. Or do you believe AI cab drivers will begin kidnapping and raping passengers?

Uber faces 550-passenger lawsuit over hundreds of alleged rape and assaults in US...

"...the company is accused of failing to protect female passengers who “were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, raped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed, or otherwise attacked by Uber drivers”...."
 
Last edited:
In general, the more people behave this way or be violent in other ways the more reason for Governments to become Authoritarian in the future. I would say Governments like crisis and the covid lock downs was a test and step #1.
 
Oh, you mean how horse-drawn carriages have been working? They roll up when you need them, take you somewhere, and leave. Why all this useless technology?
We haven't had horse drawn carriages as dedicated transport for over a century, so what is even the point? We're talking about technology here, now in the 21st century, not the 17th or 18th century. Why bring up horse drawn carriages? Do I use and advocate for them? I thought I told you and everyone else here that I use car service. Do you think that I meant that I use horse-drawn carriages to get around? Is that why you keep bringing that up?

Point is, stick to the topic--and current period--at hand or stop wasting my time.
 
In general, the more people behave this way or be violent in other ways the more reason for Governments to become Authoritarian in the future. I would say Governments like crisis and the covid lock downs was a test and step #1.
That's not what happened. Civil Libertarianism created all of these crises, going back to after World War II, when factions like the ACLU, the NRA, the porn industry and Hollywood started lobbying and propagandizing Americans that anarchy=freedom. So, the first order of business was to empty out all the mental hospitals, smash cultural and social institutions, get rid of and reverse any laws that kept civility in check. Then the second order of business was to spread nihilism by way of pop culture and mass entertainment, so that entire generations of young kids are feeling completely disconnected and without guidance.

We had Covid lockdowns precisely because when the public was given the freedom to do the right thing to stop spreading germs, huge numbers of them held parties and filmed themselves coughing on food at supermarkets for a lark. Huge numbers of elderly people in nursing homes died in droves because people didn't care enough to look after them. Right now, as we speak, I have a family member who keeps getting exposed to COVID as a school teacher, because parents knowingly send their kids to school with it.

So, the lockdowns were done to protect the frailest members of society, not as a test. To imply that this is all a conspiracy that was planned by the government is completely barking up the wrong tree. They didn't have to have massive lockdowns in most countries of the world, because everyone went, "Oh, you want us to wear a mask and wash our hands? Okay." Americans went, "FU. We're going to deliberately not wear masks, not wash our hands and even make it a sport of coughing on vegetables and breathing in people's faces in defiance."
 
We haven't had horse drawn carriages as dedicated transport for over a century, so what is even the point? We're talking about technology here
Horse-drawn carriages were THE technology of the time, containing major innovations such as steel leaf-springs, traces and blinders for the motive power, and even (if you could afford it) whale-oil powered headlamps.

You may not be advocating for these, but you're demanding something nearly as antediluvian -- being driven around in a vehicle by another human. Good Lord! In a couple more decades, that will seem as medieval as having servants manually heat your bath water, or take your clothing down to the river for hand washing.

Oh -- and you failed to answer my primary point: the massive increase in driver safety this technology will provide. Or you *like* the thrill of a potential head-on collision with a cement truck, or perhaps being kidnapped and raped by your Uber driver?
 
So, the lockdowns were done to protect the frailest members of society
The proper way to protect those individuals would have been to segregate them entirely for a few brief months, while the rest of society caught Covid and developed herd immunity. Instead, folks like you bought the absurd myth that we could do what mankind has never before managed to do -- eradicate a highly-contagious airborne respiratory disease.

In 2020 I was on this very message board, telling naysayers that no degree of masking, social distancing, and vaccine treatments would prevent Covid from becoming endemic. I specifically predicted that everyone in the world would eventually get it -- most of us multiple times. I was right ... not that it took any great degree of wisdom to see this. Or should have, at least.
 
Back