Uber Forced To Remove Self-Driving Cars From San Francisco Roads

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One week after declaring that its fleet of self-driving cars did not need permits to operate on roads in California, the DMV has revoked the registration of all sixteen self-driving cars, forcing Uber to remove them from service.

Uber Technologies Inc. has removed its self-driving cars from San Francisco streets, halting the autonomous program one week after its launch as the company faced a regulatory crackdown. The California Department of Motor Vehicles said on Wednesday it revoked the registration of 16 Uber self-driving cars because they had not been properly permitted. For the last week, the agency was demanding that Uber shut down its program and comply with regulations requiring a permit to test self-driving cars on public roads.
 

Mohonri

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"because they had not been properly permitted"

Ok, here's what I'd like to know:
1) Is there a law on the books making driverless cars illegal, or is this a situation of "there's no law against it, but we don't like it, so don't do it."?
2) Is there a process to get self-driving cars properly permitted?
 

ir0nw0lf

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This is my shocked face :meh: Who didn't see this coming? (other than Uber)
 

toast0

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"because they had not been properly permitted"

Ok, here's what I'd like to know:
1) Is there a law on the books making driverless cars illegal, or is this a situation of "there's no law against it, but we don't like it, so don't do it."?
2) Is there a process to get self-driving cars properly permitted?

California passed a law in 2012, and released regulations in 2014 for testing self-driving vehicles. The regulations are fairly basic: you must have a licensed driver at the wheel ready to take over, and you have to report on any time a driver takes over or any traffic incidents; there may be some additional insurance requirements too. Google started testing their self driving cars prior to the law's passage, with approval from the CA DMV, under fairly similar conditions. The CA DMV has been quoted saying the permit should take less than 72 hours to be issued once the application is filed (and the permit fee is $150), Uber is just being Uber.

Edit: check out the letter the DMV sent to Uber
 
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pxc

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"because they had not been properly permitted"

Ok, here's what I'd like to know:
1) Is there a law on the books making driverless cars illegal, or is this a situation of "there's no law against it, but we don't like it, so don't do it."?
2) Is there a process to get self-driving cars properly permitted?
1) Yes, Uber was doing public road testing against laws*. Uber's excuse was that since Tesla had a driver assist feature, Uber doesn't need a permit. The problem with that is Tesla has a permit from the state.
2) Yes, it's very quick and simple and the state offered to help speed it up. That goes against Uber's model of ignoring laws and lobbying to change it later. While unlicensed taxi-like services don't have many problems (except rape and other violent crimes), automatic driving systems that don't seem to recognize pedestrians and cyclists pose a significant safety hazard and the DMV was right to cancel 16 registrations on Uber's self-driving cars.

I was thinking about why Uber was doing this. Many safety features are going to be shared and Uber is going to benefit highly from that since it's a smaller driverless car maker. Then I realized that it's probably worse than that: Uber is probably trying to keep its data private in order to monetize anything it finds through patents and licensing for competing services. Uber is the guy who only brings his thirst to a BYOB party.

* if you read the Michigan story a few days ago and think Uber can just go there, lol it's even worse in MI. MI's laws for testing exclude companies like Uber and force them to partner with major MI-based auto makers. And it's not clear it includes public road testing, but just testing the systems while waiting for future regulations that aren't even close right now.

edit: The DMV licensing spokesman said Uber's self-driving software is too primitive, and doesn't qualify for a permit to test on public roads. LOL
 
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Mohonri

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California passed a law in 2012, and released regulations in 2014 for testing self-driving vehicles. The regulations are fairly basic: you must have a licensed driver at the wheel ready to take over, and you have to report on any time a driver takes over or any traffic incidents; there may be some additional insurance requirements too. Google started testing their self driving cars prior to the law's passage, with approval from the CA DMV, under fairly similar conditions. The CA DMV has been quoted saying the permit should take less than 72 hours to be issued once the application is filed (and the permit fee is $150), Uber is just being Uber.

Edit: check out the letter the DMV sent to Uber
Ah, ok, that makes more sense, then.
 
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Can you imagine those driverless Uber cars roaming the San Francisco's twisting and hilly streets?
 

pavementeater

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Can you imagine those driverless Uber cars roaming the San Francisco's twisting and hilly streets?

SF doesn't have a lot of super twisty streets there are a few but not many.
Now the scary part is the Hills on some streets , some can have a 20% + grade ... its easy to go a few block up or down a street that is 3-5 % for a few blocks and then ramp up to 20% the next block. Which then can quickly change to a one way st.
Like any other old large compact City there are a lot of streets that go from normal two way traffic quickly changing to a one way street after crossing the streets. Mix that up with peds walking around and cyclist I can see issues with Uber's cars traveling around SF and not doing so well with it's primitive software.
 
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