Uber Expands Self-Driving Car Service to San Francisco. D.M.V. Says It’s illegal
Uber made a big splash in its San Francisco on Wednesday when it started offering self-driving car service to the passenger.
But California regulator told Uber to stop the service because it was illegal. In another hand, the company disagrees with the California Department of Motor Vehicles legal interpretation of today’s autonomous regulations, in particular, Uber needs a testing permit to operate its self-driving cars in San Francisco. Giving this reason.
The regulations apply to “autonomous vehicles”. And autonomous vehicles are defined as cars equipped with technology that can drive a vehicle without the active physical control or monitoring by a human operator. But the self-driving Ubers that in both of San Francisco and Pittsburgh today are not capable of driving “without … active physical control or monitoring”.
From a technology perspective, self-driving Ubers operate in the same way as vehicles equipped with advanced driver assist technologies. This type of technology is common place with thousands of cars driving in the Bay Area today, without any DMV permit at all. That is because California law expressly excludes from its law vehicles that have “collision avoidance” or “other similar systems that enhance safety or provide driver assistance” and, like Uber self-driving cars, are “not capable, collectively or singularly, of driving the vehicle without the active control or monitoring of a human operator.”
Uber does not stop here they have a number of frank conversation with DMV and other regulators in California, including in-person demonstrations, to explain their technology.