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DMV forced Uber to remove self-driving cars from San Francisco roads

Published Dec 22nd, 2016 6:50AM EST
Uber Self-Driving Cars San Francisco
Image: Uber

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Uber’s self-driving adventure in San Francisco was short-lived, as California’s DMV decided to revoke the registration of the 16 self-driving cars the ride-sharing service operated in the city. The DMV argued that the cars had not been properly permitted, something Uber disputed, saying that the vehicles come with continuous monitoring by a person in the car.

“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,” an Uber spokeswoman told Reuters.

DMV told Uber that if it had obtained a permit, it would have been able to continue its self-driving test in the city. DMV Director Jean Shiomoto told the company that she would “personally help to ensure an expedited review and approval process,” which can take less than three days.

Other 20 companies including Google, Tesla, and Ford obtained DMV permits for 130 self-driving cars in California.

DMV’s permit’s request is a public safety measure, Reuters explains, as regulations require that companies operating such vehicles provide the DMV with accident reports.

Uber opened its self-driving ride-sharing service to passengers last week, but the company has been testing the cars for a month in San Francisco.

Uber defended its cars by saying that a driver and an engineer are in front seats to take over controls in “sticky traffic situations such as construction zones or pedestrian crossings.” However, in spite of that supervision, a video showing a self-driving vehicle running a red light was posted online soon after Uber announced its pilot program.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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