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Uber Pulls Plug on Self-Driving Cars in San Francisco — for the Moment

| December 27, 2016

Uber has taken 16 Volvos used in a company autonomous pilot program off the streets of San Francisco after the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the registration for vehicles.

“It was determined that the registrations were improperly issued for these vehicles because they were not properly marked as test vehicles,” the DMV wrote in a letter to Uber.

So what’s next?  Uber will have to submit to California’s self-driving vehicle regulations or alternatively find a different place to test.

“We have stopped our self-driving pilot in California as the DMV has revoked the registrations for our self-driving cars,” Uber said in a statement.

“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.”

What was as stake seems straightforward: Regulators argued that the cars required the same special permit as the 20 other companies testing self-driving cars in California.  These incude Ford, Google, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla.

Uber did point out that the state’s law was applicable because it’s self-driving technology required a human driver to take control if necessary, and thus did not fit California’s strict definition of an autonomous vehicle.

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