A crowd destroyed a driverless Waymo car in San Francisco

A person jumped on the hood of a Waymo driverless taxi and smashed its windshield in San Francisco’s Chinatown last night around 9PM PT, generating applause before a crowd formed around the car and covered it in spray paint, breaking its windows, and ultimately set it on fire. The fire department arrived minutes later, according to a report in The Autopian, but by then flames had already fully engulfed the car.

At the moment, no outlets seem to have reported a motive for the attack. Waymo representative Sandy Karp told The Verge via email that the fully autonomous car “was not transporting any riders” when it was attacked and fireworks were tossed inside the car, sparking the flames. Public Information Officer Robert Rueca of San Francisco’s police department confirmed in an email to The Verge that police responded at “approximately” 8:50PM PT to find the car already on fire, adding that there were “no reports of injuries.”

A video posted by the FriscoLive415 YouTube channel shows the burnt-out husk of the electric Waymo Jaguar.

magnetosphere avatar

At the moment, no outlets seem to have reported a motive for the attack.


The California DMV suspended Waymo rival Cruise’s robotaxi operations after one of its cars struck and dragged a pedestrian last year, and prior to that, automated taxis had caused chaos in the city, blocking traffic or crashing into a fire truck. Just last week, a Waymo car struck a cyclist who had reportedly been following behind a truck turning across its path.

Motive? Gee, I’m stumped.


I agree. Human driver car accidents happen every day and cas a ton of injuries. We really should ban all cars.



@kfet@lemmy.ca avatar


The pedestrian in that accident was struck by a human driver, hit and run, THEN they hit the Waymo, which did a pull-over maneuver. It did drag the victim (of the HUMAN) in error. It did not strike them at all.

In fact the actual real issue was the C-suite trying to cover it up, intead of being upfront with the DMV. THAT’S what got Waymo in trouble. All fired now, as expected, the shitheads.

magnetosphere avatar

Thank you for correcting their inaccurate reporting.


At the moment, no outlets seem to have reported a motive for the attack.

I feel that anyone who writes a line like this hasn’t spent any time at all with people who walk around on the streets of San Francisco. They don’t need a motive, man! The destruction is the motive.


I thought I saw in another thread that the car entered an area having a Chinese/lunar new year party in the street. Does nobody really know the motivation here? Seems it works be easy enough with some on the ground reporting.


I will sympathize with the programmers that that would be an edge case that they might not have had forethought to program a response to. Informal closing of streets isn’t the orderly logic that programming is built upon.

That said, it’s just another example of why public roads are not the place to beta test and develop their products. Get these cars off the streets.

As an aside, my dystopian mind just makes me realize that the path we are on is a handful of corporations controlling transportation. When autonomous vehicles are commonplace, we will be reliant on them for approval on where we get dropped off. Imagine if it wouldn’t take you somewhere for whatever reason a corporation wants to use.

dog_, (edited )

Am I the only one who wants to see this happen more often?

Edit: look, these companies are dehumanizing us, what else besides leaving their platforms can we really do?

@allenmichie@jazztodon.com avatar
livus avatar

@allenmichie I think it's a lot like the Luddites, looks like there's been a lot of tension there over these cars.


The luddites were not protesting technology. They were protesting their labor being squeezed. That the factory owners, thanks to new technology, were going to be able to pay less and keep more. It was a labor movement.

The looms were the symbol, not the problem.

The luddites were, of course, crushed with great violence. Then all their predictions of the future came true. They were almost beyond all doubt right.

Driverless cars... the threat may be similar but the scale is tiny in comparison. I think these protests are actually about the technology, not how it affects labor. It's about these cars being seen as dangerous threats on the streets.

I only wish that ire were turned toward their city managers office instead of the cars. If people want safe streets, they aren't going to get them targeting driverless taxis. They have to go after all the fundamentally unsafe auto oriented design.

@constantorbit@hachyderm.io avatar

@allenmichie @livus Can't tell if your comment is pro or con but, yes, Luddites, absolutely.

And that's a GOOD thing.

It's time we do what they did, two hundred years ago.

"...workers knows as the Luddites rose up rather than starve at the hands of factory owners who were using automated machines to erase their livelihoods."

FaceDeer avatar

It's time we do what they did, two hundred years ago.


ampersandrew avatar

So, problem solved? We don't have factories anymore because of them?

@constantorbit@hachyderm.io avatar

@ampersandrew 😂 thank you for missing the point entirely. Read up on it and come back and let's talk.


The Luddites lost, and we’re better off for it. When they win, Alexandrian libraries burn. That’s how you get Dark Ages.

ampersandrew avatar

Not the first time I've heard of the luddites. It doesn't matter if you're the workers getting replaced by automation or a cable company getting replaced by streaming television; fighting against changes in the economy and technology is an unwinnable battle. The problem with self driving cars is that they're worse solutions for transportation than other, lower tech solutions.

@constantorbit@hachyderm.io avatar

@ampersandrew @livus @allenmichie

agree on self-drivings cars being bad solution to an actual problem

disagree on fighting against changes is an unwinnable battle

gotta have hope 🌱

have a great day!

ampersandrew avatar

If fighting against the economy was winnable, we'd all still have cable, haha.

@chemical_cutthroat@lemmy.world avatar

I’ve never seen a robot uprising film that didn’t start this way…

FaceDeer avatar

Yup. And in total fairness, we fired the first shot in this one.


Driverless cars drew first blood.

FaceDeer avatar

Those were accidents. This car was deliberately targeted. Don't be surprised when cars start actively hunting pedestrians after this.

livus avatar

@FaceDeer how do we know you're not just saying this for the benefit of any AI who might be listening?

FaceDeer avatar

There are no AIs listening, of course. Feel free to express your true opinions about the AIs here, they won't find out.

livus avatar

I look forward to being ruled with wisdom and competence.

FaceDeer avatar
livus avatar


I can't believe I've never read that before! Fantastic poem.

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