Uber Wants To Make Up With California, Give Self-Driving Cars Another Shot

Image courtesy of Uber

Last December, the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the registration of 16 self-driving Uber cars that were operating in San Francisco, because Uber had not sought the proper permissions from the state to operate these autonomous vehicles. The ridesharing company quickly picked up and headed south to Arizona, but it may be ready to give the Golden State another try.

Reuters reports that Uber plans to comply with California regulations and actually apply for permits in order to once test the vehicles in the state.

The company is back to work in the state, operating two self-driving vehicles manually in San Francisco while working on its application for the permit.

A rep for the DMV tells Reuters that it has been in discussions with Uber about applying for self-driving permits, but the company has not yet actually submitted the application.

Uber previously operated in the city for just a week last year before the DMV revoked the registration of the tricked-out Volvo SUVs.

Issues began shortly after Uber announced it was testing the vehicles in the San Francisco area. This came as a surprise to the DMV, which said Uber hadn’t applied for the necessary permits to test autonomous vehicles in the state.

Uber said it didn’t actually need the permits because a person was behind the wheel at all times, even if they weren’t operating the vehicle physically. The DMV didn’t buy the explanation, determined the vehicles were operating illegally, and revoked the registration. That left Uber with the options of filing for permits or taking their cars elsewhere.

At the time, the company chose the latter; placing the 16 self-driving cars on a truck and hitting the road for Arizona.

If, or when, Uber returns to California, it will have plenty of self-driving company. Reuters reports that 23 companies have obtained the permits, including Tesla, Google, and others.

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