IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Why are people putting traffic cones on self-driving cars in San Francisco?

Answer: In protest.

A line of bright orange traffic cones on black pavement in the sun.
Shutterstock/Real Sports Photos
Self-driving cars have become a consistent presence on the streets of San Francisco, but not everyone is happy about it. A group of protesters called Safe Street Rebel has taken to stopping the vehicles in their tracks by placing orange traffic cones on their hoods, and they’re encouraging others to join in.

“This week, tell these companies what you think with a cone,” the group said in a video posted on social media. This was in response to a planned July 13 hearing by the California Public Utilities Commission to expand the number of AVs allowed in the city. The hearing has been rescheduled for Aug. 10.

Putting a traffic cone on the hood of an autonomous vehicle causes it to stop where it is until a maintenance worker can reset its systems. Among its concerns about self-driving cars, Safe Street Rebel complains that the vehicles make the streets more dangerous and promote more car traffic rather than walking, biking or public transit.