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A number of inhabitants of the American town of Phoenix in Arizona have attacked self-propelled cars from Waymo, reports Silicon Angle. They seem to be expressing their anger at the use of technology in their streets.

In the past two years, 21 incidents have been reported. The attacks range from cutting the tires of the cars to a man who threatened a vehicle with a rifle. The incidents also include five cases where people threw stones at Waymo’s cars, several times that people shouted at the vehicles and six cases where the same Jeep was harassing the vehicles on the road.

In the case of the assault with a rifle, a test-driver reported that a bearded man in shorts pointed a gun at it when he was driving past the man’s driveway. The man with the gun, 69-year-old Roy Leonard Haselton, was later arrested. He told the police that his intention was to scare the driver because he hates Waymo’s vehicles.

In another incident, a man described as “very drunk” blocked the way of a vehicle by standing in front of it. “He said he was tired of the Waymo vehicles driving through his neighborhood and apparently thought the best solution was to stand up for it,” says a police report.

The number of attacks can be even higher, since Waymo does not always report incidents to the police.

Reaction Waymo

Google’s sister company commented that “safety is at the heart of everything we do, which means that keeping our drivers, passengers and the public safe is our top priority”. The company also said that people in Arizona have been “very welcoming and enthusiastic about the potential of the technology to make roads safer” for the past two years.

“We believe that an important element of the local relationship is our ongoing work with the communities in which we drive, including the police in Arizona.”

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.