Self-driving cars mysteriously congregate in San Francisco neighborhood: NPR


A Waymo self-driving car arrives at a parking lot in Mountain View, Calif., May 8, 2019.

Glenn Chapman / AFP via Getty Images


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Glenn Chapman / AFP via Getty Images


A Waymo self-driving car arrives at a parking lot in Mountain View, Calif., May 8, 2019.

Glenn Chapman / AFP via Getty Images

It was a modern mystery.

In a small neighborhood in the Richmond District of San Francisco, self-driving Waymo cars converge at all hours of the day and night, mystifying neighbors, KPIX reported earlier this week. Most would drive to the dead end of 15th Avenue, where they then had no choice but to turn around and leave, depending on the outlet – and the neighbors don’t know why.

“I noticed it while I was asleep. I woke up with a strange hum that I thought there was a spaceship outside my window,” said Jennifer King, a resident of the neighborhood.

She later added: “There are days it can go up to 50 [cars], literally every five minutes, and we all work from home, so that’s what we hear. “

The random influx of cars was confusing for residents. Cars don’t carry passengers, Verge says report. And when locals asked the drivers why they were in the neighborhood, they replied that the cars were “programmed” and that they were only “doing their job,” KPIX reported.

When asked about the incident, a spokesperson for Waymo attributed the strange events to road signs. There are one-way streets as well as Slow streets – residential streets that drivers are discouraged from using for through traffic – in the area, the spokesperson told NPR.

“We are continually adapting to San Francisco’s dynamic road rules,” the spokesperson said. “In this case, cars traveling in Northern California on 15th Avenue must turn around due to the presence of Slow Streets road signs on the lake. Thus, the Waymo driver was obeying the same traffic rules as any car is bound to follow. ”The company calls its technology autonomous Waymo Pilot.

Still, explanation or not, a glance at Twitter shows that the unofficial self-driving car invasion has caught people’s attention. An user referred as a “Black Mirror episode”, of course referencing the grim dystopian Netflix series. Another joked that the “robot revolution is not imminent”.

“Waymo threatens,” another Twitter user wrote.

As for Tesla CEO Elon Musk, he kept his answer simple: “Ahaha.”





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