Uber is in the news again but for all the wrong reasons. Soon after launching their self-driving cars in San Francisco, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said today that it “encourages responsible exploration of self-driving cars” while hinting that Uber did not request for permission.
The DMV in California which oversees autonomous vehicle development in the state, said in a statement that Uber would have to comply with rules of the state of California. The statement read, “We have a permitting process in place to ensure public safety as this technology is being tested. Twenty manufacturers have already obtained permits to test hundreds of cards on California roads,”
Conversely, Uber head of self-driving, Anthony Levandowski wrote in the company blog “We have looked at this issue carefully and we don’t believe we do [need a permit],”. He further added that “The rules apply to cars that can drive without someone controlling or monitoring them. For us, it’s still early days and our cars are not yet ready to drive without a person monitoring them.”
While it is admitted that “self-driving” cars don’t fall under the California DMV’s self-driving rules since the cars cannot be function without a person monitoring them, Uber’s latest stance has puts the California DMV in a tight corner. regulators in a tough place
Uber took a shot at the California Regulator by implying that the regulations in California were not “pro-technology” and could have the “unintended consequence of slowing innovation.” The post added further “Most states see the potential benefits, especially when it comes to road safety. And several cities and states have recognized that complex rules and requirements could have the unintended consequence of slowing innovation. Pittsburgh, Arizona, Nevada and Florida in particular have been leaders in this way, and by doing so have made clear that they are pro technology,” and concluded by hoping that “ California, our home state and a leader in much of the world’s dynamism, will take a similar view.”
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