Afergan stepped outside to check it out. Sure enough, a self-driving cab from the company Cruise, which is majority-owned by General Motors, stood frozen in the middle of the street, its hazard lights blinking. A bright-orange cone was perched on the robotaxi’s hood.
“At the time, I thought it was a dumb prank,” Afergan told me later. “But one friend said, ‘No, I’ve heard about this.’ Until then I didn’t know that there are a bunch of people who are anti–autonomous vehicles.”