In case you missed it, yesterday Uber officially launched a pilot program in San Francisco, CA of their new autonomous vehicle system to pick up passengers. In other words, self-driving cars (which, by the way, are a bunch of Volvo’s XC90 SUV) are now picking people up. It seemed to have going great for the first half of the day, but then the company got a letter… from the DMV.
In the letter, the DMV threatened to take legal action on Uber if the ride-sharing platform didn’t acquire a certain permit required to allow self-driving cars on the road like Uber intends. Uber defended themselves stating that their autonomous vehicle system didn’t meet the DMV’s definition of an “autonomous car” as a backup driver needs to be behind the wheel at all times. Therefore, the company didn’t comply with the so-called needed action and instead took their own route with matters.
“If Uber does not confirm immediately that it will stop its launch and seek a testing permit, DMV will initiate legal action,” DMV Chief Counsel Brian Soublet wrote in the letter.
If the company doesn’t comply, the DMV writes that Uber may face “legal action, including but not limited to, seeking injunctive relief.” Specifics aren’t currently known, but if Uber doesn’t take some type of action on this case, we may very well find the ride-sharing company in the hot seat in court.
With the service already receiving a plug pull, it’s unclear what Uber’s self-driving future looks like in San Francisco. Currently, Pittsburg is the only other city where Uber is testing/readying to launch their self-driving car platform, so there’s definitely a light at the end of this tunnel. The question is, is that light daylight or a train coming?