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San Francisco crowd vandalizes, sets fire to robotaxi

Video showed people breaking windows, vandalizing the driverless Waymo car before lighting a firework inside

By Don Sweeney
The Charlotte Observer

SAN FRANCISCO — A crowd surrounded a driverless Waymo car and set it ablaze in San Francisco, California firefighters say.

Videos on X, formerly Twitter, captured by an onlooker show the incident in Chinatown.

One shows people breaking windows with skateboards while the crowd cheers and shouts. Later videos show people standing back from the blazing vehicle.

Warning, some of the videos contain explicit language some may find offensive.

San Francisco firefighters told KNTV the incident took place around 9:25 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 . Waymo officials told the station no one was inside the vehicle at the time.

In another post on X, San Francisco firefighters said a crowd surrounded the car, broke windows and sprayed graffiti before lighting a firework inside, catching it on fire.

A large crowd celebrated the first day of the Lunar New Year in Chinatown on Saturday, SFGate reported.

It’s not clear what set off the crowd, although driverless cars have been controversial in the city, NPR reported. In 2023, protesters blocked off the cars with traffic cones to immobilize them.

A driverless Waymo car struck a bicyclist in San Francisco on Tuesday, Feb. 6 , causing minor injuries, KGO reported.

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