A car-free activist group in San Francisco has found a unique way to protest against the impact of self-driving cars: placing traffic cones on the hoods of autonomous "robo-taxis," disabling them temporarily. The group, Safe Street Rebel, started the trend in response to issues like traffic congestion, accidents, and lack of accountability for violations caused by these autonomous vehicles.
It's safe to say Google's Waymo and GM's Cruise seem to have worn out their welcome in the Bay Area. The snafus have been numerous; stalled cars have randomly blocked traffic on busy nights, blocked buses, interfered with first responders and even knowingly hit a dog. Despite the self-driving cars not proving any better than human drivers (and occasionally proving much worse), the two companies are trying to expand both their operating hours and territory.
Although Waymo has denounced these actions as vandalism and misunderstandings about autonomous vehicle operations, it's clear that the debate is far from over. As this tug-of-war continues, all eyes are now on the upcoming California Public Utilities Commission meeting on July 13, a more official platform for voicing such concerns.