California Shuts Down Self-Driving Uber Launch After First Day
Before it could even really start, Uber’s self-driving fleet is being snuffed out in California due to state regulations.
The Associated Press has confirmed that California regulators have shut down the launch of Uber’s self-driving car service in San Francisco because the company never got the required state permit for autonomous vehicle testing. However, Uber argued that it shouldn’t need the permit, since the vehicles aren’t completely autonomous. The self-driving Volvo XC90s are non-autonomous, but they’re fitted with technology that allows them to navigate the streets without driver input. Ultimately, the vehicles still require a proper Uber driver behind the wheel in order for the system to operate.
But regulators for the state of California claim this isn’t good enough. If Uber wants to move forward with the autonomous driving fleet, they’re going to need the permit.
And, honestly, it’s probably for the best. The autonomous launch didn’t exactly go smoothly, with surveillance footage showing one of the autonomous Volvos apparently running a red light. No word on what Uber will do in response, but they probably should just get the permit, since the alternative would mean breaking the law. While getting the permit would potentially sideline the autonomous service until approval, it’s not as if Uber would go under altogether in San Francisco, much less in the state of California.
But what do you think? Should Uber be forced to get the permit? Or should they be exempted? Sound off in the comments!