Uber launches self-driving cabs in San Francisco, California DMV claims it's illegal

Uber launches self-driving cabs in San Francisco, California DMV claims it's illegal
Self-driving cars are quite hot topic lately. And as one of the top ride-hailing services out there, Uber also wants to ride the hype train of autonomous vehicles. Just yesterday the company announced and launched its first self-driving cab tests.

Uber said that users will be matched with a self-driving car if one is available, but ones that don't trust the tech, or the driver sitting behind the wheel, so he can take over if needed, can reject the self-driving car and request a regular one.

However, the California DMV doesn't seem to agree with Uber. It appears that the company failed to acquire a permit, which makes this campaign illegal, according to the state.

“It is illegal for the company to operate its self-driving vehicles on public roads until it receives an autonomous vehicle testing permit,” the DMV wrote in a letter to Uber yesterday. “Any action by Uber to continue the operation of vehicles equipped with autonomous technology on public streets in California must cease.”

Brian Soublet, the DMV's chief legal counsel, held a conference call with reporters after Uber's announcement of self-driving cabs. According to him, the DMV has warned Uber a month ago that it needs a permit for its operation, and did so again the day before the official launch of the self-driving Volvos. Uber did nothing to acquire such a permit, though.

And just like with any other legal controversy Uber's created, the company claims that it's in the right. According to Anthony Levandowski, vice president of self-driving technology at Uber, there is a “debate over whether or not” the company needs a permit. “We have looked at this issue carefully and we don't believe we do,” Levandowski continued.

We wouldn't call it a debate, considering the DMV has repeatedly told Uber it needs a permit. We think the correct term here would be “law”. Uber doesn't seem to be fazed by the DMV's warnings, though, as the self-driving Volvo SUVs are still on the streets.

Uber launches self-driving cabs in San Francisco, California DMV claims it's illegal
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via CNET

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4 Comments

1. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1297; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Ah Uber, you believe you don't need any permits or need to follow any industry regulations.

2. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Drones to replace delivery men. Self checkout machines or automatic Amazon store checkout instead of staffed supermarkets. EZPass instead of toll booth workers. Advanced robots instead of nurses and soon many other professions. Autonomous cars instead of cabs with taxis. In a decade or two the world will be even sadder as the poor will grow poorer, the middle class will become poor, and the billionaire owners of huge conglomerate companies will have even more money that they can't even decide how they can spend it. Yes many will say that you "have to accept progress with technology", but while this may seem like progress in terms of what tech can do, it is putting society back even more.

3. jsobotka

Posts: 54; Member since: Aug 21, 2009

It won't be as bad as you make it out to be. A similar thing happened with the industrial revolution, but the job market adjusted accordingly. Educational institutions just need to adjust to provide training for higher-level jobs. Don't get me wrong... this will be a painful transition, but just like in the past, people will end up with more narrow-focused higher-level expertise, as simpler jobs that don't require much skill or training get taken over by robots.

4. rnagic

Posts: 215; Member since: Jul 13, 2014

I am going through a relatable situation. It's almost as though I am in career purgatory. One major aspect you failed to consider is the improvement on overall quality of life. A life spent in a toll booth or a cab is an absolute waste. This may trigger a cascade of improvements that ultimately result in a much more rewarding life.

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