Autonomous taxi set on fire in the middle of the street in San Francisco

(Washington) A Waymo autonomous taxi, from the Alphabet group, the parent company of Google, was vandalized and completely set on fire by several people on Saturday evening in San Francisco, without causing any injuries, while it was circulating in the city without any passengers on board. its edge.

A Waymo spokeswoman told AFP that around 9 p.m. Saturday, “a fully autonomous Waymo vehicle was traveling through San Francisco when a crowd surrounded and vandalized the vehicle, breaking the window and setting off fireworks at the vehicle.” ‘interior, which set the vehicle on fire.’

“The vehicle was not carrying any passengers and no injuries were reported. We are working closely with local security officials to respond to the situation, said this spokesperson.

Images published on social networks show the white Jaguar, before the fire, stopped on the public highway, in a crowded street in San Francisco’s Chinatown, where New Year’s celebrations were taking place. In the crowd, several people dressed black people break the windows, one using his skateboard.

Other videos then show the car tagged, windows broken, fireworks exploding inside, then on fire with an impressive plume of smoke emanating from it. Once the fire is extinguished, the autonomous taxi appears largely destroyed.

A few days earlier, a cyclist was slightly injured after being hit by a Waymo taxi, also in San Francisco, according to several media.

San Francisco is the laboratory of autonomous vehicles. But their development is slower than expected.

The autonomous vehicle company Cruise, a subsidiary of the American giant General Motors, interrupted its activities indefinitely at the end of October after several accidents and the suspension of its authorizations in California. It operated autonomous electric taxis in several American cities.

Tesla’s ‘Autopilot’ assisted driving system (level 2) has been accused of giving drivers the false impression that the car is driving itself, thereby increasing the risk of accidents.

After analyzing the data from the American Highway Safety Agency (NHTSA), the American daily Washington Post claimed in June that this “Autopilot” mode had been involved in 736 accidents and 17 deaths in the United States since 2019.

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