When told it had to get a self-driving permit to operate its autonomous vehicles in California, Uber puffed its chest out and, like a petulant child, packed up its fleet and went to Arizona instead. That happened very recently, just a few days before Christmas 2016, but the ride-hailing company has already relented: it will be applying for the proper permit to operate its self-driving cars on California roads, something it should have done the first time around.
The entire issue revolves around Uber’s former refusal to get the proper permit, defying the California DMV by deploying self-driving cars on public roads in San Francisco. Not surprisingly, the state didn’t take kindly to being ignored, and demanded that Uber take the cars off the road until it had the right permit.
Rather than doing so, Uber argued that it didn’t need the permit, saying that in its own estimation, its fleet didn’t qualify as self-driving. The DMV ultimately revoked the cars’ registration as a result, forcing Uber off the road. Mere days later, Uber announced that rather than get the permit, it was shipping the cars to Arizona where it would resume the testing with permission.
Perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that Uber has decided to work with the California DMV following yet more scandals at the company and CEO Kalanick’s promise that he will ‘grow up.’ According to an Uber spokesperson, the company is completing an application for a permit (which hasn’t yet been submitted), saying that “Uber remains 100 percent committed to California.”
SOURCE: Mercury News