San Francisco vandals destroy robotaxi, set it ablaze with fireworks

NEWS: San Francisco vandals destroy robotaxi, set it ablaze with fireworks


A driverless taxi was set ablaze by an unruly crowd amid Lunar New Year celebrations on the streets of San Francisco Saturday night.

Vandals in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood surrounded the Waymo robotaxi before breaking the window and throwing fireworks inside, according to The San Francisco Standard.

It was unclear what prompted the lawless destruction of the autonomous vehicle, which was not carrying any passengers, according to the report.

The vandalism was caught on camera, and resulted in the car erupting in fire and smoke as crowds clogged Jackson Street near Grant Street.

After several people tagged the vehicle with graffiti, a man was seen smashing the windows with a skateboard before someone threw a firework inside.

“We are working closely with local safety officials to respond to the situation,” Waymo told the newspaper.

The vehicle had “recently dropped off a rider and was navigating to its next destination when the event occurred,” the company said, adding that it would resume services Sunday as revelers in the city headed to bars and parties to watch their hometown 49ers in the Super Bowl.

The company said no injuries were reported.


A driverless taxi was set ablaze by a crowd amid Lunar New Year celebrations on the streets of San Francisco Saturday night. via REUTERS

A Waymo self-driving robotaxi, owned by Alphabet's autonomous driving unit
The crime was caught on camera and resulted in the car erupting in fire and smoke. via REUTERS

Waymo operates driverless taxis in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Austin, stating its mission is to “make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going.”



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