A Waymo self-driving Jaguar I-PACE robotaxi was set ablaze and vandalized by a crowd in San Francisco on Saturday evening. The shocking incident, which drew criticism from social media users, happened in the city’s Chinatown area.
Michael Vandi, a software engineer who happened to be in the area when the incident happened, described the sequence of events that transpired which led to the crowd attacking the Jaguar I-PACE and setting it on fire. As per The Autopian, there was a small traffic holdup with a Waymo in front of it. This reportedly resulted in a person jumping into the hood of the car and breaking the vehicle’s windshield.
— Michael Vandi (@michael_vandi) February 11, 2024
What followed was chaos. Another person reportedly jumped on the hood of the self-driving vehicle, which prompted cheers from other people. Others soon broke the self-driving I-PACE’s glass and vandalized the vehicle. Things escalated further when fireworks were lit under and inside the car. The vehicle proceeded to burn as a result.
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.
Waymo said “a crowd surrounded and vandalized the vehicle, breaking the window and throwing a firework … pic.twitter.com/6QN2jTppRu
— Gia Vang (@Gia_Vang) February 11, 2024
Franky Francisco with FriscoLive415, which has shared footage of the shocking event, described his observations during the event’s aftermath. As per Francisco, the Jaguar I-PACE’s battery seemed to have reignited multiple times as the vehicle burned.
— nathan (@_nathanmarquez_) February 11, 2024
“When I arrived on the scene, SFFD was already on scene hosing down the car with water and their chemical extinguishers. The battery appeared to be reigniting multiple times and was smoking like crazy. The live footage I did on X gives a decent idea of how I came onto the scene, which was after the attack on the vehicle. The vehicle looked completely ‘decapitated’ and I have never seen a vehicle that damaged up close,” he said.
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
Photos by Séraphine Hossenlopp pic.twitter.com/aOTqL3Rk8V
— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) February 11, 2024
Waymo has issued a short statement about the incident: “At approximately 9 PM on Saturday, February 10th, a fully autonomous Waymo vehicle was navigating on Jackson Street in San Francisco when a crowd surrounded and vandalized the vehicle, breaking the window and throwing a firework inside, which set the vehicle on fire. The vehicle was not transporting any riders and no injuries have been reported. We are working closely with local safety officials to respond to the situation,” Waymo noted.
Watch FriscoLive415’s footage of the incident in the video below.
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The post Waymo driverless robotaxi attacked and set on fire in San Francisco appeared first on TESLARATI.
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