Autonomous Vehicle

Robotaxi haters in San Francisco place traffic cones on empty driverless cars

Date: July 10, 2023

San Francisco, CA – The deployment of autonomous vehicles (AVs) in San Francisco has faced a setback as a group of individuals has been disabling the self-driving cars by strategically placing traffic cones in their path. This trend has raised concerns about the safety and acceptance of autonomous transportation in the city. Online images and videos depict the “Safe Street Rebel” group immobilizing the driverless vehicles.

Over the past month, several incidents have been reported where AVs operated by different companies were deliberately targeted. The Robotaxi Haters, believed to be a loosely organized group, have been observed identifying AVs and placing traffic cones in front of them, effectively obstructing their path and forcing them to come to a halt.

Authorities have expressed their concerns about the potential risks posed by these actions. Deliberately interfering with autonomous vehicles not only compromises the safety of passengers and other road users but also undermines the progress being made in developing autonomous transportation technology.

One Safe Street Revel member stated, “We see these as a threat and not a compliment to more environmentally friendly mobility solutions like public transportation and active mobility.” There has been curiosity and anger surrounding the driverless vehicles operated by the companies Cruise and Waymo. Recently, the vehicles have obstructed traffic on many occasions, interfered with first responders, and even run over and killed a dog.

Local law enforcement agencies, in collaboration with AV companies, have initiated investigations to identify those responsible for these acts of sabotage. They are urging the public to report any suspicious activities related to the obstruction of AVs.

According to the public transit company, a technician must reset the car’s system each time this occurs.

Autonomous vehicle companies operating in San Francisco are actively working to address the issue. Measures such as enhanced sensor systems, improved object recognition capabilities, and increased vigilance are being implemented to detect and avoid obstacles like traffic cones. Additionally, these companies are collaborating with local authorities to enhance security measures and deter further incidents.

The situation in San Francisco serves as a reminder of the challenges faced in the adoption of emerging technologies. Balancing innovation, safety, and public sentiment remains crucial as society moves towards a more automated future.

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