Activists in San Francisco are putting orange cones on driverless vehicles, disabling them as a form of protest.
Safe Street Rebel says it has been “coning” the vehicles and a decision regarding such cars is scheduled for next week in the city, NBC Bay Area reported Friday.
“No one’s in it,” someone said from behind the camera as one of the group’s members approached a Cruise autonomous car to place an orange traffic cone on its hood:
“Expanded and basically unfettered access to the city streets is a really bad idea,” one of the group’s members told ABC 7.
The activists said they use the cones to confuse and disable them because they ultimately want the cars off the roads or significantly limited.
“Currently, the driverless taxis are only operating in San Francisco during certain hours. But city officials could grant two companies, Cruise and Waymo, full approval as early as next week,” the NBC report said, adding several city officials are concerned about the driverless cars.
In June, a self-driving car got in the way when first responders were trying to get to the scene of a shooting where multiple people were injured in San Francisco, according to Breitbart News:
In addition, a self-driving car operated by Waymo, which is Google’s autonomous vehicle company, hit and killed a dog on the city’s streets, the outlet reported on June 8.
However, the tech company said, “the system correctly identified the dog which ran out from behind a parked vehicle but was not able to avoid contact.”
At the time, the car was operating autonomously, but a test driver was inside it.
Regarding the coning protests, Waymo said Friday it is vandalism that “encourages unsafe and disrespectful behavior on our roadways,” adding the company would inform police of unsafe interference with the cars on public roads.
Meanwhile, Cruise said:
Cruise’s fleet provides free rides to late-night service workers without more reliable transportation options, has delivered over 2 million meals to food insecure San Franciscans, and recovers food waste from local businesses. Intentionally obstructing vehicles gets in the way of those efforts and risks creating traffic congestion for local residents.
According to Safe Street Rebel’s website, the group fights for “car-free spaces, transit equity, and the end of car dominance. People, community, and park space must be prioritized over polluting, dangerous & murderous vehicles.”