Uber Pulls Plug On Self-Driving Cars In California After DMV Voids Its Fleet Registration

You will not be seeing Uber’s self-driving vehicles on the roads of San Francisco any longer. The driver-less vehicles are banned since the state of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) revoked Uber’s registration.

Uber had started testing its self-driving cars before receiving an autonomous vehicles driving permit. California requires that self-driving vehicles be tested by the DMV before they go out on the road. Other companies have complied, however, Uber insisted that it did not need a permit, since the vehicles were not “fully” autonomous.

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Uber refused to apply for a permit, but was “open to having the conversation”. It turns out that the California DMV was not “open” to smoke-filled back-room deals and stuck by its guns. The state threatened to ban the vehicles if Uber tested them without a permit.

A DMV spokesperson stated, “Uber is welcome to test its autonomous technology in California like everybody else, through the issuance of a testing permit that can take less than 72 hours to issue after a completed application is submitted”.

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One of the main reasons the vehicles did not receive a permit was because they had a difficult time handling bike lanes. When in self-driving mode, Uber’s vehicle tend to make “unsafe right-hook-style turn through a bike lane”. The blind spot is the self-driving car’s number one cause of collision. A video also surfaced last week of one of Uber’s self-driving cars running a red light.

Uber has pulled sixteen vehicles from service in California. An Uber spokesperson noted that the company is “now looking at where we can redeploy these cars.” The vehicles will likely be redeployed to Pittsburgh where Uber has been working since September without incident. The state of Pennsylvania has yet to pass any laws concerning self-driving cars or decide upon a procedure in case the vehicle should crash.