Waymo Self-Driving Cars have been making significant advances in the development ever since its inception as Google Self-Driving Car Project. Waymo has successfully launched its first Commerical Self-Driving Taxi program, the Waymo One. Earlier this month, Waymo One was opened to the members of the Early Rider Program, in Phoenix, Arizona.
A couple of months ago, Waymo had also received the permit to test its Self-Driving Cars in the roads of California.
The Waymo Self-Driving Cars have also been receiving a lot of appreciable feedbacks from the early riders ever since the inception of the testing. However, in the wake of recent events, it can be assumed that not every Arizonian resident is thrilled and excited for Waymo Cars.
Apart from how people normally express discontent for new technology (which is mostly in the form of negative reviews and refraining from buying the product), with Waymo, people’s discontent have really crossed the borders.
A few of the Arizona residents have actually started to shout at, attack and threaten Waymo’s Pacifica Minivans (and the Safety Drivers) while they are in transit.
The total no of such erratic behavior towards the Waymo Self-Driving Cars approximates to around 21, till date.
Per AZ Central, the most notable incident took place in the month of August when a man with his handgun tried to scare off a Waymo Safety Driver. The incident occurred as the Waymo Van passed in front of his driveway. It is also said that he was seen as referring to the incident that happened earlier this year, in which an Uber Self-Driving Car took the life of a pedestrian despite having a safety driver during the accident.
Other such attacks against the Waymo cars include a Jeep driving around 6 of Waymo’s minivans off the road, people threatening Waymo Safety Drivers with PVC Pipes, throwing stones at the cars and flattening the tires.
According to an article from 9to5 Google, Waymo has not yet officially pressed charges on any of these incidents. The reason as to why Waymo does not press charges could be because it understands the fact that any new radicle technology is prone to discontent and opposition from at least some part of the public.
Yet another reason could be because it does not want these isolated issues to make the people ponder over the safety of self-driving cars.
Clearly, these attacks represent the fear that resides in some section of the society on the Self-Driving Cars. Though the primary objective of developing Self-Driving Cars are to make the world a safer place by reducing accidents, there is a major section of the population that still does not understand this vision completely and are skeptical of the impact that Self-Driving Technology may achieve.
Though, for now, these are only isolated incidents, we can still expect to more of such incidents in the future, at least until everyone is convinced of the safety of Waymo Self-Driving Cars (and all other Self-Driving Cars in general)