• Waymo Self-Driving Vans Are Literally Diving People Crazy in Arizona

Will it get better or worse from here?

There are two sides to autonomous technology and self-driving cars – you’re either with them or against them. Sure, there are a few people other there that are still on the fence over the whole thing but, for the most part, people love ‘em or hate ‘em. Some people, as in the entire state of Arizona, apparently, seem to hate them. They hate them so much that they have, essentially, started a war with Waymo self-driving vans and their safety drivers. And we’re not talking about just flipping them the bird or cutting them off in traffic. No; this is much worse and beyond extreme. How do guns, playing chicken, and constant harassment sound?

Waymo Vans are Under Fire in Arizona

We seriously couldn’t make this stuff up with we tried. People in Arizona hate self-driving cars so much; are so resistant to the technology; that they would risk going to jail just to cause trouble. Reports from the Arizona Republic paint a picture of drunks standing in the road, harassing safety drivers, crazy old ladies in Jeeps playing high-speed games of chicken as an attempt to run the vans off the road, and persistent calls to local authorities to file false complaints that include the safety drivers “watching children.” Yup; these people are so anti-Waymo that they’ll cry wolf and file false police reports.

That’s not the worst part, though.

There are Waymo drivers that have actually had guns pointed at them by neighborhood residents.

This goes beyond the slashing of tires and rock throwing. We’re talking about actions that can constitute felony charges. Other protests are basically harmless but annoying nonetheless. There’s even a story about a 37-year-old drunk man that just stood in front of the vehicle: no threats, no anger, no violence. He just stood there and stared at the driver. In that incident, the man later told police that he was “sick and tired of Waymo vehicles driving in his neighborhood.”

Waymo Self-Driving Vans Are Literally Diving People Crazy in Arizona
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Man; is this crazy or what? Why is Waymo getting so much hate? Well, some people, like Phil Simon of Arizona State University, says, “This stuff is happening fast, and a lot of people are concerned that technology is going to run them out of a job.” He does have a point, however, perhaps some people just don’t put that much faith in technology. It wasn’t that long ago that an Uber self-driving vehicle fatally smucked someone in the middle of the road. Its safety driver, in this example, was busy playing with a tablet or phone instead of doing their job.

Maybe people don’t like Waymo vans because they don’t want to see the same thing happen again.

Either way, this technology is going to be forced upon us at one time or another. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but it will happen eventually. I hate the idea of losing the ability to drive or there being a serious lack of jobs (just to pad the pockets of others, mind you) as much as the next guy. But, at the same time, we need to embrace technology and learn to co-exist. At least, until Skynet kicks in, then I’ll be the first to say “Kill them All!”

Further reading

Waymo Self-Driving Vans Are Literally Diving People Crazy in Arizona
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Waymo All Set To Launch Self-Driving Taxi Service Next Month

Chrysler to Send Thousands of Pacifica Minivans to Waymo
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Waymo and Honda May Develop an Autonomous Delivery Vehicle After All

Chrysler to Send Thousands of Pacifica Minivans to Waymo
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Chrysler to Send Thousands of Pacifica Minivans to Waymo

Source: AZ Central

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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