"Waymo Vehicle surrounded and then graffiti'd [sic], windows were broken, and firework lit on fire inside the vehicle which ultimately caught the entire vehicle on fire," reads a Xeet from the San Francisco Fire Department. Nobody was in the car at the time.
It is not clear, however, why the mob decided to destroy the car. A Waymo vehicle recently hit a cyclist in the city. The rider walked away with scratches and Waymo claimed the incident occurred because the rider emerged from behind a large truck and its car could not react in time to avoid the collision once it detected the bike.
Self-driving cars were a not uncommon sight on San Francisco's streets until the Cruise robotaxi business parked its entire fleet after incidents including one that saw a woman hit and dragged for six meters (20 feet) under a driverless car, another robocar becoming stuck in wet cement and ten cars grinding to a halt after their wireless connections failed.
Waymo, the brand that adopted Google's autonomous car efforts, has also had its problems – but in early 2023 it celebrated one million miles of autonomous operations without a fatality. There have, however, been 20 "contact incidents" – half of which involved human drivers hitting Waymo cars.