Self-Driving Vehicles Facing Ongoing Attacks in Arizona

Some residents of Chandler, Arizona are unhappy with the rise of self-driving cars in their city just outside of Phoenix. 

Nearly two dozen attacks on driverless vehicles have been carried out over the past two years in Chandler. 

The self-driving vans operated by Waymo started testing in 2017, giving the city a look at the rise of artificial intelligence. City officials have since heard complaints of safety and possible job losses due to the new vehicles and some residents are taking to vandalism to get their point across. 

One assailant slashed the tires of a Waymo van while it idled at an intersection. Others have pelted the vans with rocks and repeatedly tried to run the vehicles off the road, according to police reports. 

"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," The New York Times reported. 

Waymo is reportedly concerned about the effect the attacks were having on its emergency drivers, who are intended to remain inside the vehicle on monitoring mode. 

“Safety is the core of everything we do, which means that keeping our drivers, our riders, and the public safe is our top priority,” said Alexis Georgeson, the Waymo spokeswoman. “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.”

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Photo: Getty Images

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