Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Progress Haters Are Attacking Driverless Cars: With Guns, Rocks and Knives

It's getting out of control in Chandler, Arizona, a city near Phoenix.

The driverless car subsidiary of Google/Alphabet, Waymo, is testing driverless cars in the city and some residents are attacking the cars.

The New York Times reports:
Some people have pelted Waymo vans with rocks, according to police reports. Others have repeatedly tried to run the vehicles off the road. One woman screamed at one of the vans, telling it to get out of her suburban neighborhood. A man pulled up alongside a Waymo vehicle and threatened the employee riding inside with a piece of PVC pipe.

In one of the more harrowing episodes, a man waved a .22-caliber revolver at a Waymo vehicle and the emergency backup driver at the wheel. He told the police that he “despises” driverless cars, referring to the killing of a female pedestrian in March in nearby Tempe by a self-driving Uber car.

“There are other places they can test,” said Erik O’Polka, 37, who was issued a warning by the police in November after multiple reports that his Jeep Wrangler had tried to run Waymo vans off the road — in one case, driving head-on toward one of the self-driving vehicles until it was forced to come to an abrupt stop.
According to The Arizona Republic, at least 21 attacks have been leveled at Waymo vans in Chandler.

Officer William Johnson of the Chandler Police Department described in a June report how the driver of a Chrysler PT Cruiser wove between lanes of traffic while taunting a Waymo van, reports the Republic.

The emergency drivers in the Waymo vans that were attacked in various cases told the Chandler police that the company preferred not to pursue prosecution of the assailants.

This is obviously about people who have a problem with the fact that the world changes. I can't imagine how they reacted when the Seinfeld television series ended.

I wonder if stagecoach drivers reacted this way when horseless vehicles first emerged.

I have news for these people, change will win.

Here's the guy who pulled a gun on the Waymo:



  1. Why is progress always defined as what the so-called elite and government want to better and more completely manage us while freedom is defined as going backwards and/or resisting progress?

    The robot cars aren't to free people from the task of motoring, they are to ultimately monitor and/or manage people's travels. If there weren't an underlying goal that serves a desired end the failures of these self-driving technologies would be used to skewer the companies putting them on the public roads. The media has done far more for imagined 'design flaws' by traditional automakers never mind what they got for multi-variable difficult to diagnosis real problems. The self driving technologies have clear, predictable, and basic flaws that have already killed and it's called 'the price progress'. But if some idiot cannot deal with close pedal spacing in his Audi then it's a horror, just to mention one fabricated problem of several over the decades. A pass has been given and that doesn't happen just to free people from some task some find drudgery.

  2. The "elite" are not presenting us with driverless cars as a market choice. Their intention is to force it on us in the long term. That is very different than a company coming out with a new product that everyone wants.