The assailant came out of the park around noon one day in October, landing on his target, standing idle at a nearby intersection – a car driver running Waymo, a company driving a car without a driver coming out of Google.
He executed his attack with an unidentified sharp object, quickly killing one of the tires. The suspect, identified as a white man in his twenties, then dived into a neighborhood on foot.
It was one of nearly twenty attacks on drivers without drivers over the past two years in Chandler, a town near Phoenix, where Waymo began testing their fleet in 2017. In large and small ways, the city looked at public doubts early. the rise of artificial intelligence, where city officials hear complaints about everything from security to possible job losses.
Some people drank Waymo's scooters with rocks, according to police reports. Others repeatedly tried to drive vehicles off the road. One woman screamed at one of the van, telling him to come out of the suburbs. The man stopped by the Waymo vehicle and threatened his employee to drive inside with a piece of PVC pipes.
In one of the most horrifying episodes, the man wound a caliber gun .22 on the Waymo vehicle and the driver's emergency helmet. The police said they "despise" cars without drivers, citing the pedestrian killings in March at the nearby Tempe Uber car ride.
"There are other places to test," said Erik O "Polka (37), who was issued by the police in November after multiple reports that his Jeep Wrangler attempted to launch Waymo van wheels – in one case, the driver's head – to one of the drivers who were driving alone until he was forced to stop suddenly.
His wife, 35-year-old Elizabeth, in an interview, admitted that her husband "is fun when it is difficult to lock" in front of the trucks that drive alone and that she "might have forced her to retire" herself so she could shake them out of her neighborhood. The problem began, a couple said when their ten-year-old son nearly hit one of the vehicles while playing in a nearby blind street.
"They said they needed examples from the real world, but I do not want to be their mistake in the real world," said Erik O & Polka, who runs his own company that provides information technology to small businesses.
"They did not ask us if we wanted to be part of their beta testing," added his wife, who helps her run the job.
At least 21 such attacks were dealt with Waym's van in Chandler, as the first reported by the Arizona Republic. Some analysts say they expect more such behavior as the nation moves into a wider discussion of the potential of a car without drivers to release huge changes in American society. The discussion deals with the fears of removing workplaces for drivers until the oversight of autonomous vehicle mobility.
"People are legitimately fighting," said Douglas Rushkoff, media theorist at the City University of New York, and author of the book "Drop the Rocks at Google Bus". He compared robot-free riders with robotic incarnations of cucumbers – workers who refuse to join strikes or those who take the place of strikers.
"There is an increasing sense that giant corporations do not exhaust technology that the driver does not have in the heart," said Rushkoff. "Just think about people in those vehicles that are essentially training artificial intelligence that will replace them."
Emergency drivers in Waymans who were attacked in various cases told Chandler's police that the company did not follow the prosecution of the attacker.
In some of his reports, police officers also said that Waymo was often unwilling to provide video about the attacks. In one case, Wayma employee told the police that he would need a warrant to get a video recorded in company vehicles.
Police Officer William Johnson from Police Administration Chandler described in June's report that the driver of the Chrysler PT Cruiser was floating between the traffic lanes while mocking the Waymo van.
The Wayma manager showed Johnson video footage of the incident but did not allow the police to keep them for a more thorough investigation. According to Johnson's report, the manager said the company did not want to continue with this issue, pointing out that Waymo was concerned about the suspension of testing at Chandler.
The report states that Waymo was concerned about the impact of an attack on an emergency driver, who should stay in the surveillance mode. "Behavior causes drivers to continue manual mode through automated mode due to concerns about what a driver of another vehicle can do," Johnson wrote.
In a statement, Waym's spokeswoman said the attacks included only a small part of more than 40,000 kilometers that daily shipments ship to Arizona.
"Safety is the core of everything we do, which means keeping our drivers, our drivers, and the public safe our priority," said Alexis Georgeson, spokesperson for Wayma. "Over the past two years, we have found Arizona's welcome and excited about the potential of this technology to make our roads safer."
Georgeson said the company seriously understood the safety of its driver in emergencies and challenged claims that Waymo was trying to avoid bad publicity by refusing to take criminal charges.
"We report on incidents that we believe pose a danger, and have provided photographs and videos to local police forces when reporting these acts of vandalism or assaults," Georgeson said. "We support our drivers and participate in cases when an act of vandalism has been committed against us."
Authorities in Chandler and elsewhere in Arizona are happy to remain open to Waymo and other car dealers without drivers. Rob Antoniak, Chief Operating Officer of Valley Metro, helps oversee the Phoenix City transit system, said on Twitter that Arizona still accepts "open-minded" autonomous cars despite the attacks on the Waymachines.
"Do not let some criminals throw stones or tear tires to prevent efforts to drive the future of transportation," Antoniak said.
But the official welcome matrix failed to convince the laurels.
One of them, Charles Pinkham, 37, stood on the street in front of Waymo's car in Chandler one evening in August when police approached him.
"Pinkham was very drunk, and his behavior ranged from calmness to admiration and excitement during my contact with him," police officer Richard Rimbach wrote in his report. "He said he was ill and tired of the Waymo vehicles driving in his neighborhood, and supposedly thought the best idea to do that was to stand in front of those vehicles."
It was obvious, obviously. Wayman employee in the van, Candice Dunson, decided to file a lawsuit and told the police that the company had stopped driving the vehicle to that area.
Pinkham got a warning. The van moved on.