Uber Technologies Inc. has moved its self-driving cars testing project to Arizona after California forced pullout. The Golden State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) revoked the registration of 16 vehicles belonging to the ride-hailing giant because it refused to apply for a permit for testing self-driving cars.
The ride-hailing giant’s move highlights the regulatory discrepancies governing autonomous technology between states. According to the Los Angeles Times, California’s move could have consequences for the state’s future as a hub for driverless tech. Though the western U.S. state allows firms to test autonomous cars on its roads, it has established strict regulatory barriers.
Some industry experts however, say that California’s track record shows its regulations are no obstruction to innovation. Nova Southeastern University’s professor of law, Jon Garon, said that the state has created a fairly complex but pro innovation legislative act that ensures public safety while pursuing the need to develop the technology.
Uber’s move was set in motion after the California DMV demanded that the etaxi giant obtain the necessary permit before it can continue testing its autonomous Volvo in public roads. Tech Times notes that the state’s regulation mandates all autonomous vehicles must obtain a permit and pay $150 for testing on California roads.
Uber said that it will be expanding its self-driving pilot in Arizona in the coming weeks, and that the company is excited to have the support of Governor Doug Ducey. Ducey touts the state’s credentials as a location friendly to technology and innovation. The Grand Canyon State already hosts Ford and Waymo’s autonomous cars.
On Friday, Uber moved a fleet of its autonomous cars to Arizona after the California DMV insisted it comply with local rules. The motor vehicle regulator banned the on-demand car service’s self-driving automobiles from San Francisco just days after they were first deployed. The high-flying transportation firm dismissed the ban as nonsense, saying that its cars are not yet completely automated, exempting it from the state’s regulation on self-driving vehicles.
On Friday, Ducey welcomed the arrival of a fleet of Uber autonomous vehicles delivered by a self-driving truck, reports Yahoo. The governor’s office confirmed that the self-driving cars were received at the State Capitol in Phoenix. The governor of Arizona said that while the Golden State puts the brakes on change and innovation with more regulation and more bureaucracy, the southwestern U.S. state is paving the way for new businesses and new technology.
Uber Technologies Inc. has relocated its fleet of self-driving Volvos to Arizona after regulatory scuffles forced it to pull its latest innovation from the streets of San Francisco. It is important to note that other firms testing self-driving cars in California such as Tesla Motors and Google have applied and have been granted permits without any fuss. The world’s largest ride sharing platform is yet to announce when the vehicles will be tested in Arizona.
By Anila Maring
Photo Courtesy Uber