A black-clad resident of San Francisco recently made his displeasure with the city’s fleet of Cruise robotaxis known in a forceful manner by attacking an empty Cruise AV with a hammer.
A video, posted on X (previously Twitter) with the tagline “What do you think, hero or villain?” attached, shows the nighttime Cruise AV incident that unfolded at the intersection of Buchanan and Haight:
Someone seen destroying a RoboTaxi in San Francisco this weekend.
What do you think, hero or villain?
— (((BrokeAssStuart))) (@BrokeAssStuart) September 11, 2023
The black garbed “street ninja” started the filmed portion of the attack by hammering on the rooftop sensors, cameras, and LIDAR units on the right side of the Cruise AV, but seemingly doing little damage. He moved on to striking the windshield, apparently punching a few holes in it, but failing to shatter it overall.
Finally, the attacker moved to the left side of the Cruise AV and resumed his assault on the sensor array mounted on the roof there. He paused once to adjust his dark glasses to prevent them from sliding off his face before delivering more seemingly ineffective blows to the robotaxi’s sensors. He then retreated across the road using the crosswalk.
The video, shot by Catery Villela from her apartment and posted on X by Stuart Schuffman, AKA “Broke Ass Steve,” apparently didn’t capture the whole attack. When the clip opens, random black squiggles of spraypaint are already visible thickly covering the Cruise AV’s front end.
Cruise says it is “deeply troubled” by the incident and added that “we have reported the incident to law enforcement and hope they are able to identify those responsible and hold them accountable.” The police have started an investigation.
The Cruise AV appeared to take the beating “like a champ” and to have sustained only minor damage despite the attacker’s vigorous efforts.
Meanwhile, Cruise has continued its expansion to new cities, with manual data collection currently under way in Las Vegas, Nevada and other metropolitan areas around the country. Cruise is now estimated to be racking up 1 million driverless miles per month with its AV fleet.
The purpose-built Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle will soon go into production, joining the smaller Cruise AV as a larger, more comfortable, and more cost-efficient robotaxi platform. Cruise is simply awaiting the regulatory green light from the NHTSA to start production, an approval it sees occurring in the near future.
The Cruise Origin is designed to have a longevity of around a million miles, at least in the absence of hammer-based vandalism.