Robotaxis unpopular: self-driving car set on fire in San Francisco

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A self-driving car from Google sister company Waymo was set on fire on the street in San Francisco. Videos posted online showed several people initially breaking the windows of the unmanned robotaxis. Then they set it on fire using a firecracker.

The Waymo robotaxi stopped Saturday evening on a street blocked by a crowd during Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown. The car was driving without passengers.

Self-driving cars are controversial in San Francisco. Critics and authorities complain, among other things, that the vehicles often block traffic.

San Francisco became a unique test case for self-driving taxis last year. Waymo and General Motors subsidiary Cruise received permission from a California regulator this summer to offer their driverless transportation services throughout the city. The city council and many residents were against it.

Pedestrian is dragged along for meters by robotaxi
Cruise’s cars have been idle since an accident in October. At that moment, a pedestrian was hit by a conventional car with a human behind the wheel and thrown in front of a Cruise robotaxi. The driverless car braked, but the woman became trapped underneath. The cruise car then attempted to automatically pull over to the side of the road. The woman was dragged several meters. Critics saw that their assessment confirmed that the technology was not secure enough. General Motors changed Cruise management after the accident and only wants to gradually put the vehicles back on the road.

Developers of self-driving cars emphasize that the vehicles are safer on the road than cars with people behind the wheel.

Source: Krone

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