The California Department of Motor Vehicle recently threatened to bring Uber, the world's leading ride-sharing service provider, to court if they refuse to pull out their self-driving vehicles from San Francisco streets. The move was made after determining that Uber did not have the necessary permits to provide service using the autonomous vehicles. Uber denied the request and said that they are not violating any state laws and that their test runs being conducted in Pittsburgh were not having any issues, and are gaining support from the government instead.
Uber Was Pulled Out After One Week Of Its Launch Date
However, with just one week after their official launch, Uber did not have a choice but to pull out their autonomous fleet of cars after the Department of Motor Vehicle revoked the registration of its cars. According to Reuters, A total of 16 self-driving vehicles were affected by the revocation of their registration. The Uber vehicles may not have their registrations reinstated until Uber submits the permits required to test the autonomous cars and get approval from the Department of Motor Vehicle.
Uber Self-Driving Vehicles Still Have Two Operators Inside
On a previous statement from Uber, they said that they did not need to submit such permits since the vehicles in question still have an operator or a driver behind the wheel. The self-driving vehicles of Uber still have two professionals in their cars, one seated in the front passenger seat that analyzes the data while cruising, and another behind the wheel to actively intervene in possible accidents, hazards, or whenever needed. The person behind the wheel can also take charge of the driving anytime by simply tapping on the brake pedal.
The argument comes from California's definition of self-driving cars; a vehicle that does not need an active participation or monitoring from a human being. Since Uber still doesn't have one, but two individuals inside the car, they said that the law does not apply to its vehicles. Uber could have avoided their cars being pulled out and would have no loss in revenue if only they complied with the federal laws request to obtain a permit, which could be done in a mere three days.
Uber Seems To Think That They Are A Cut Above The Rest
Knowing that the required permits are just simple means of safety measures, Uber still did not mention anything about obtaining the necessary ones. 20 other companies focused on autonomous cars have obtained the necessary permits in California. Some big companies included are Google Alphabet, Ford Motors and Tesla Motors. It is also unclear why Uber refused to get the permit, which should have been a fairly easy task. The process is quick and Uber could have had a no-holds-barred testing of their units in California public roads.
With the defiance of Uber, consumers cannot help but doubt the sincerity of the company. Yes, they may have goals to use sustainable and clean energy to protect the environment, but a well-known company is expected to know the consequences of not working with the government. What's most important is the safety and well-being of all road users, which, most of the time, need to be documented through necessary permits.