Man arrested after trying to steal a self-driving taxi in LA

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A man is facing an attempted expansive theft car complaint aft trying — and failing — to bargain a self-driving taxi successful downtown Los Angeles connected Saturday night.

The LAPD said successful a connection Sunday that Vincent Maurice Jones, 33, sewage into a afloat autonomous Waymo car conscionable aft it dropped disconnected a rider connected Main Street northbound of 1st Street, adjacent to City Hall, astir 10.30 p.m. connected Saturday.

The fishy sewage into nan driver's spot — but nan alleged theft did not spell according to plan.

"Jones attempted to put nan conveyance successful 'Drive' but could not manipulate nan controls," nan LAPD said.

A Waymo typical was past capable to speak to Jones remotely via nan car's online communications strategy and told him to time off nan vehicle, police said. When he did not, nan typical called nan police. Jones did not travel nan instructions, and nan typical contacted nan LAPD, who arrived and arrested him, nan connection added.

The constabulary did not opportunity whether he had been charged yet aliases was still successful constabulary custody. It is not known whether he has ineligible representation.

Waymo did not instantly respond to a petition for remark from NBC News.

In California, attempted Grand Theft Auto is punishable upon a successful condemnation pinch up to 3 years successful situation if charged arsenic a felony, and 1 twelvemonth erstwhile charged arsenic a misdemeanor.

Self-driving cars are an progressively communal show successful California. The California Public Utilities Commission connected Friday granted Waymo, which spun disconnected from Google successful 2016, permission to expand its fleet of self-driving taxis crossed nan greater LA area, aft launching successful San Francisco and Phoenix.

Some 50,000 Angelenos are already connected a waiting database for a free "on tour" Waymo ride.

Despite their popularity, immoderate policymakers and exertion experts remain skeptical astir self-driving cars, which person been documented moving reddish lights and blocking first responder vehicles.

Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is simply a London-based editor and newsman for NBC News Digital.