The DMV decided to ban Uber’s self-driving ride-sharing service in California until the company obtains a permit like every other company that’s conducting autonomous vehicle testing in the region. Uber argued that it doesn’t have to get a permit, as its cars have two persons supervising each drive, including a driver and an engineer who are monitoring and controlling the vehicle if needed.
Rather than pay $150 for a permit go through an expedited approval process, and continue operating the self-driving pilot program in San Francisco, Uber decided to pack up its toys and move to Arizona.
The move to Arizona may not be just about the money. The permit for autonomous cars does cost $150, but it also requires companies to disclose various information to the DMV about the program. The terms of the license would force Uber to provide details on accidents, including incidents where the vehicle’s self-driving mode is deactivated by failures or the driver.
Other companies operating self-driving testing programs in California have the permit, including Google, Tesla, General Motors, and others.
Arizona’s governor may not be interested in such data, but it may be vital for the future of autonomous driving.
Republican Governor Doug Ducey said about Uber’s fate in California that it’s “what over-regulation looks like.” Ducey told Uber in a statement that “California may not want you, but we do,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
Uber’s self-driving ride-sharing service only launched in California a week ago. In the first days of operation, it ran a red light.
Ducey signed an executive order supporting the testing and operation of autonomous vehicles in Arizona. Uber, meanwhile, released photos of its autonomous vehicles leaving a warehouse on a rig.
Uber will begin a self-driving program in Phoenix early next year.