Residents in the state of Arizona have taken to attacking self-driving vehicles. In the city of Chandler, there have been nearly twenty-four attacks on self-driving cars within the past two years.
According to the New York Times, some individuals have thrown rocks, others have apparently gone as far as to make an attempt to run the vans—which are operated by a self-driving technology company known as Waymo—off the road. Other incidents include people threatening the emergency drivers sitting inside the vans, with, in one case, PVC pipe. Then there was the time when one woman apparently screamed at the vehicle, telling it to get out of her neighborhood.
Despite the severity on some occasions, Waymo and even employees of the company don't want the issue of legal trouble. In one case, it was said that when Chandler Police attempted to get video evidence of an incident, the driver told them that they'd need a warrant to do so, which isn't hard but rather just a nuisance. This could be due to the idea that if they'd legally go after those who attacked their property, it wouldn't cause people to be open to the technology in the future. It must be noted that lexis Georgeson, the Waymo spokeswoman actually mentioned that the safety of their drivers is important and pursuing legal action is not something to do surrounding bad press.
Some of the anger these people have for the technology seems to stem from times when the technology was involved in less than favorable incidents. These include one case where a child was supposedly almost hit by the vehicle, another one is more global, but could still attribute to the hatred. According to Fortune, there were six out of nineteen cases where the technology caused the accident.
On top of all that, there's the issue of self-driving tech possibility taking away jobs such as a taxi or bus drivers. Although, it's safe to assume that it will also create jobs for programmers.
All in all, it's clear that some people really don't want to adopt this change in the world just yet and they're showing it. Despite that, the company doesn't want to spend time and money going after these people since they basically just want to run their tests and do their jobs.