Uber Surrenders To Regulators, Stops Self-Driving Vehicles In San Francisco

(Photo credit: NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images)

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Uber is pulling its self-driving cars from the roads of San Francisco after originally defying orders to do so from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Attorney General’s (AG) office last week.

The three parties met Wednesday and the DMV decided to revoke the standard registration on the 16 vehicles Uber was using to test the new technology, reports TechCrunch.

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

The ride-sharing company launched its autonomous vehicle services last week. (RELATED: Uber Launching Driverless Cars In Pittsburgh Starting Today)

Soon after, state regulators told Uber it needs a special license to employ autonomous technology.

“The attorney general will seek injunctive and other appropriate relief” if Uber doesn’t obtain a permit, a letter from the California’s Department of Justice read, reports the Associated Press. (RELATED: Former Employee Sues Uber, Says It’s Spying On Customers)

The company had no plans of stopping its new initiative at the time.

“We respectfully disagree with the California Department of Motor Vehicles legal interpretation of today’s autonomous regulations, in particular that Uber needs a testing permit to operate its self-driving cars in San Francisco,” Anthony Levandowski, leader of Uber’s self-driving car initiative, said in a statement.

“The self-driving Ubers that we have in both San Francisco and Pittsburgh today are not capable of driving ‘without … active physical control or monitoring,'” the post continued (emphasis theirs).

Since Uber’s self-driving cars hit the streets, there were two reports of the vehicles running red lights. These accounts, though, have not yet been thoroughly corroborated. (RELATED: Uber Forced To Pay Advocacy Group $2.38 Million For Not Picking Up Blind People)

The on-demand ride service admitted Tuesday that it has a problem with the driverless cars cutting off cyclists during right turns.

It is not known if the alleged traffic violations or the potential danger to bikers contributed to Uber surrendering its pilot program in San Francisco.

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