A Waymo self-driving car was targeted and deliberately set ablaze by a group of people in San Francisco's Chinatown on Saturday evening. This incident is part of a rising trend of hostility towards autonomous vehicles, highlighted by an individual late last year on X: "The AI crusades have begun."
Local media outlet NBC Bay Area reports the self-driving Jaguar was traveling on Jackson Street, between Stockton and Grant, around 2100 local time when 10 to 15 people attacked it.
Videos on X show a group of people vandalizing the self-driving car.
BREAKING: An autonomous Waymo vehicle is intentionally set on fire in Chinatown, according to SF Fire. Firefighters said they got reports around 10 people were involved.— Gia Vang (@Gia_Vang) February 11, 2024
Waymo said “a crowd surrounded and vandalized the vehicle, breaking the window and throwing a firework … pic.twitter.com/6QN2jTppRu
Then someone tossed fireworks inside the vehicle, and that's when the fireworks show began.
Waymo Vehicle surrounded and then graffiti’d, windows were broken, and firework lit on fire inside the vehicle which ultimately caught the entire vehicle on fire. #SFFD— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) February 11, 2024
Photos by Séraphine Hossenlopp pic.twitter.com/aOTqL3Rk8V
"We are working closely with local safety officials to respond to the situation," Waymo said in a statement to The San Francisco Standard. The startup added that the car was not transporting any passengers at the time of the incident.
This comes after a string of attacks on self-driving cars across the progressive crime-ridden metro area.
Back in July, we pointed out that members of Safe Street Rebels, a group that says these cars are "polluting, dangerous & murderous," were coning driverless cars across the city.
Week of Cone - Night One was a hit! Keep sending in your coning submissions 🦄 pic.twitter.com/c4KZLbFvhy— Safe Street Rebel (@SafeStreetRebel) July 6, 2023
Why would people be fighting against the machines? As Goldman recently explained, "AI Will Lead To 300 Million Layoffs In The US And Europe."
As one X user said last year, "The AI crusades have begun."