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San Francisco self-driving car protests

A group of young protesters called Safe Streets Rebel have been obstructing robotaxis in San Francisco using traffic cones. Targeting vehicles from Cruise, Waymo and others, they aim to spark discussion on autonomous vehicle expansion.

Riding bikes and wearing masks at night, members quickly place cones in the path of self-driving cars, which halt unable to proceed. In a viral TikTok video, the group urges more residents to participate in the civil disobedience.

Cruise and Waymo threatened involving police and called it vandalism. In response, Cruise began offering late night workers free rides and delivering meals to the poor.

Safe Streets Rebel believes autonomous vehicles are unsafe and divert resources from public transit. They hope to ignite public discourse and accountability from companies and regulators.

"We want more people considering if we want these on our roads, and regulators listening to affected communities," said member John.

The provocative protests exemplify tensions surrounding rapid AV deployment in cities. With robotaxis testing on public streets, San Francisco becomes a lightning rod for concerns over accountability and community impacts.

While the companies aim to improve mobility, protestors see an existential threat from increased automation. It highlights the need for democratic deliberation to shape this transformative technology responsibly.

By creatively commandeering the robotaxis, Safe Streets Rebel dramatizes ongoing debates on how AVs will reshape urban life. Their guerilla tactics stress that the public must have a voice in driving decisions, not just tech companies. The dynamic underscores the complex social dimensions of automating public spaces.

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