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Angry Arizonians are abusing Waymo self-driving cars

WE ALL HAVE ROAD RAGE SOMETIMES, but people in Arizona are taking things to a new level by slashing the tyres of Waymo’s  self-driving cars and even pulling guns on safety drivers.

There have been 21 reported incidences of such assaults on vehicles, according to the Arizona Republic, with people apparently fed up of Waymo autonomous cars driving around their neighbourhoods.

Why exactly folks are so angry at Waymo’s driverless cars is a bit of a mystery, though it would seem to be a resistance to new technologies. And we can get why taxi drivers would be a bit angry given the threat autonomous vehicles pose to their jobs.

Also, it’s America we’re talking about here, with many rather backwards-seeming states that probably think a smartphone is an object for a different planet; oh you want us to cite evidence of this perception? Well just look at who’s president of the nation.

But there was one nugget of insight according to a police report from Detective Cameron Jacobs following the arrest of 69-year-old Roy Leonard Haselton.

“(The suspect) stated that he was the person holding up the gun as the Waymo vehicle passed by and that his intentions were to scare the driver,” said the report.

“Haselton said that his wife usually keeps the gun locked up in fear that he might shoot somebody,” the report added. “Haselton stated that he despises and hates those cars (Waymo) and said how Uber had killed someone.”

Haselton’s wife told the cops that her husband has dementia; yet another good argument for tighter gun control.

Waymo seems a little miffed by the whole thing as well, going by the statement it put out.

“Over the past two years, we’ve found Arizonans to be welcoming and excited by the potential of this technology to make our roads safer. We believe a key element of local engagement has been our ongoing work with the communities in which we drive, including Arizona law enforcement and first responders,” the company said.

Back in good ol’ Blighty there haven’t been any reports of self-driving car abuse, even though testing of autonomous vehicles is well underway. µ

Source : Inquirer

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