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Self-driving Waymo car set on fire in San Francisco

Formerly recognised as the Google Self-Driving Car Project, a Waymo driverless car was vandalised in Chinatown, San Francisco. Firefighters also confirmed that the vehicle was later set on fire after the violent scene on Saturday night.

FILE PHOTO: A Waymo rider-only robotaxi is seen during a test ride in San Francisco, California, U.S., December 9, 2022. REUTERS/Paresh Dave/File Photo(REUTERS)

NBC Bay Arena reported that the car was spotted on Jackson Street, between Stockton and Grant, at 9:25 pm. Around this time, the Waymo vehicle was surrounded by a group of 10 to 15 people, Lt Mariano Elias added.

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About the Waymo car fire incident

Several videos of the incident also started floating on X (formerly Twitter). They show a mob of vandalisers huddled around the driverless car as they continue attacking it. Eventually, the same car went up in flames.

Gia Vang from NBC Bay Area reported that the autonomous vehicle was “intentionally set on fire”. San Francisco Fire claimed that it was no accident. The videos on social media show a group of people breaking the car’s window. A hooded man can be seen banging on the car window with his skateboard. Once the window was down, these people threw a firework inside the car, ultimately leading to the eruption of fire.

Although the cause of the fire was identified swiftly, arrests are yet to be made. As for any casualties or injuries, luckily nothing of the sort was reported since no one was inside the vehicle. The Waymo car fire reportedly broke out during the Lunar New Year celebrations in San Francisco. Other videos of the incident also revealed attackers drawing graffiti on the robotaxi, while others were busy bashing in the passenger window of the Jaguar.

San Francisco Fire Department also shared its report on the mishap on social media. Though the scene was contained by the authorities, final pictures reveal that the entire car was engulfed in flames.

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