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Waymo Under Attack: From Stone Pelting to Forceful Lane Changing, People Openly Display Anger on Self-Driving Tech

Google’s self-driving car, Waymo is under attack from people in Pheonix, Arizona. There are several cases filed by the company where there are incidents ranging from stone pelting to forceful lane changing and even guns been pulled-out on safety drivers, according to the Arizona Republic reports. At least 21 reports have been tracked so far and the number is rising. Especially in Arizona, where the self-driving car from Google started its testing back in 2017. The traffic incidents which involves road rage is common across the world, however, in this case, it’s clear that people are venting their anger openly at self-driving tech. The fear of innovation that can eventually take over the jobs is for real and dangerous too.

According to police reports from Phoenix, Arizona, there are 21 cases of direct attack or threat by people on these self-driven cars. Reports show that people have even called cops on Waymo’s self-driving cars. Attackers have gone so far by even slashing the tires of the self-driving cars in traffic. Surprisingly, people are so annoyed that in a neighborhood an individual stood in front of the car until the police arrived.

Waymo One Van banner with text
Image Credits: Waymo Facebook


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What Waymo is Doing?

Waymo has told its drivers to call the police if they feel threatened by people on road. The company surely cares about its drivers and can’t compromise on the safety of its passengers as well. The company has just started its services in select areas and people’s wrath is the last thing that it would want to face. Still, some believe that many instances go unreported. Only those cases are reported where the attacker is a repeat offender.

Whenever there is a new technology, a certain section of society have always shown their anger towards it. For example, when Uber started gaining its foothold, cab drivers were against it. Waymo is in a similar situation. It might need more time to settle out these cases. Still, as the technology is in its early stages, Waymo needs to take more pro-active measures to avoid these scenarios.

21 cases that have been reported so far are a tiny part of traffic-related cases that are reported to police. But, knee-jerk reaction from Waymo is not going to help either. It needs a strong plan. It’s been only a month since the company started its services in Phoenix, Arizona under the banner of Waymo One. It still has a long way to go and is already facing many bumps along the way.

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