Uber Pulls its Self-Driving Cars From San Francisco Streets

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Uber has removed its fleet of self-driving cars from San Francisco streets on Wednesday after the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked its vehicle registrations (via Reuters).

Earlier this week, the DMV ordered Uber to shut down its self-driving car test program and comply with regulations requiring a permit to test the autonomous vehicles on public roads. The order came after an Uber car was reportedly seen running a red light in downtown San Francisco, but the company refused to comply with the agency's demand, arguing that it did not require a permit because each of its 16 vehicles are continuously monitored by a driver and an engineer who sit in the front seats.

uber-self-driving-car-fleet
Uber disputed the interpretation by the DMV that the cars require a special permit and said the state laws were being unevenly applied, owing to the fact that the self-driving capabilities of Uber's fleet matched those of Tesla's vehicles, which have an optional "autopilot" feature.

Uber's defiance brought threats of legal action from the DMV and the state attorney general, but the dispute has apparently come to an end now that state officials have yanked registration for the cars used in the company's pilot program.

"We have stopped our self-driving pilot in California as the DMV has revoked the registrations for our self-driving cars," San Francisco-based Uber said in a statement emailed to AFP.

"We're now looking at where we can redeploy these cars but remain 100 percent committed to California and will be redoubling our efforts to develop workable statewide rules."

DMV director Jean Shiomoto said in a letter sent to Uber on Wednesday that she would "personally help to ensure an expedited review and approval process," for the required permits, which she said can take less than three days. It's still unclear whether Uber will take up the offer.

San Francisco was the company's second testing ground for its self-driving cars. Uber unveiled its autonomous car fleet in September in Pittsburgh. Uber launched its self-driving car program to passengers in the city on December 14 after testing the cars on San Francisco roadways for over a month.

Apple has met with California DMV officials in the past regarding self-driving car laws within the state, with its Apple Car team said to be focusing on in-car autonomous systems rather than developing an out-an-out vehicle.

Google has also scaled back its self-driving car ambitions, and is now reported to be working with established car companies to develop vehicles that will include self-driving features. Google's autonomous vehicles have clocked over two million miles of tests on public roads. Like Uber, the company has complained to authorities about the situation regarding nascent state and federal laws for self-driving vehicles.

Tag: Uber

Top Rated Comments

Stella Avatar
53 months ago
Uber - a very shady company.

They do shake up the cab industry - which is in dire need of reform and competition.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
53 months ago

Progress will never be made without mistakes. Sure, it was and after risk, but it only shows the technology needs to be worked on.

Aaaaaah yes, risking lives is required. So when your family member is run over and killed because an unlicensed driverless vehicle kills them, you're going to take that same stance and be totally cool with it. You won't sue because as you said, progress can't be made without mistakes (which is also untrue).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
miniyou64 Avatar
53 months ago

Typical Uber trying to defy the law and the governing agencies.

How is it typical of Uber?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
53 months ago
Uber: if ever there was a company in need of a corporate ethics seminar, this is the one...

Progress will never be made without mistakes. Sure, it was and after risk, but it only shows the technology needs to be worked on.

Worked on responsibly. Sorry, but you don't get to put the public at risk and call your failures a performance metric.

Uber has a long history in setting up in various cities and counties BEFORE they've bothered to comply with the laws and taxes of a given area.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/french-court-convicts-uber-of-violating-transport-privacy-laws-1465477861
http://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/egypt-uber-drivers-to-be-arrested-for-violating-the-traffic-law/
http://www.capemaycountyherald.com/news/article_0cc872bc-6946-11e6-bd83-3b5f8e22a4ee.html
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/meru-tears-into-uber-for-breaking-local-laws/articleshow/53065407.cms
http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/Uber-flouting-local-laws-alleges-Ola/article14408501.ece
https://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2016/12/uber-vs-law
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-germany-ban-idUSKBN0ME1L820150318
https://www.yahoo.com/news/danish-prosecutor-indicts-uber-over-driver-violations-110636249--finance.html?ref=gs

Then there's the call and cancel attacks on Lyft, the threats to pursue journalists personally if they write critical stories, their avoidance of responsibility for their employees action, price gouging, etc, etc.

Basically Uber is what you'd get if Scientology ran a cab company.

If you think government regulations are protecting anyone from mistakes, you're way off on that one.

Hmmm... seat belts, air bags, crash safety, emissions controls, mandatory training and certification before operation, vision tests, speed limits and enforcement, blood alcohol testing, insurance mandates... You don't think any of that has protected anyone from mistakes?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrcobra92 Avatar
53 months ago
The California DMV is one of the most mismanaged government groups in the entire state. Honestly, the whole organization needs to be completely overhauled.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spentan Avatar
53 months ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/12/22/uber-pulls-self-driving-cars-from-san-francisco/')

Uber disputed the interpretation by the DMV that the cars require a special permit and said the state laws were being unevenly applied, owing to the fact that the self-driving capabilities of Uber's fleet matched those of Tesla's vehicles, which have an optional "autopilot" feature.

Typical Uber trying to defy the law and the governing agencies.

As per this list, Tesla has a Permit to test autonomous vehicles.

As of December 8, 2016, DMV has issued Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permits to the following entities:



* Volkswagen Group of America
* Mercedes Benz
* Google
* Delphi Automotive
* Tesla Motors
* Bosch
* Nissan
* GM Cruise LLC
* BMW
* Honda
* Ford
* Zoox, Inc.
* Drive.ai, Inc.
* Faraday & Future Inc.
* Baidu USA LLC
* Wheego Electric Cars Inc.
* Valeo North America, Inc.
* NextEV USA, Inc.
* Telenav, Inc.
* NVIDIA Corporation


https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/autonomous/testing
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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