A driverless vehicle made by automaker Waymo was attacked and lit on fire by a group of 10 to 15 people in San Francisco on Saturday night, according to the city’s Fire Department.
The car was driving itself down Jackson Street between Stockton and Grant around 9:25 p.m. when the group surrounded it, according to Fire Department Lieutenant Mariano Elias.
Video footage of the event shows a group of hooded young people graffitiing the car and smashing its windows with skateboards. The video did not show how the car was eventually lit on fire, but Waymo claims that a firework was thrown inside it. The San Francisco Fire Department confirms this story.
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
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 told NBC Bay Area that the car did not have any passengers and no injuries have been reported.
As Tom Ellsworth covered during an episode of the Biz Doc Podcast, taxi company Cruise has been experimenting with driverless cabs since 2022. However, after multiple accidents, its license was suspended by the State of California.
Read more about Cruise’s driverless taxis here, or watch Biz Doc’s case study below:
Shane Devine is a writer covering politics, economics, and culture for Valuetainment. Follow Shane on X (Twitter).