Uber moving self-driving fleet from San Francisco to Arizona
Uber's fleet of self-driving cars in San Francisco is bound of Arizona, a company spokesman said.
The ride-sharing company loaded up its fleet on a truck Thursday morning.
“We'll be expanding our self-driving pilot there in the next few weeks, and we're excited to have the support of Governor Ducey,” the company said.
Uber will move its pilot test of self-driving cars to Phoenix.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said the state will welcome Uber “with open arms and open roads.”
“While California puts the brakes on innovation and change with more bureaucracy and more regulation, Arizona is paving the way for new technology and new businesses,” Ducey said in a statement Thursday, noting an executive order he signed in 2015 supporting testing of self-driving cars in the state. “This is about economic development, but it's also about changing the way we live and work. Arizona is proud to be open for business. California may not want you, but we do.”
Uber pulled its self-driving cars from California roads after state regulators moved to revoke their registrations, officials said Wednesday.
The move comes after a week of talks between the ride-sharing company and state regulators failed.
Hours after Uber launched the service in its hometown of San Francisco, the DMV threatened legal action if the company did not stop. The cars need the same special permit as the 20 other companies testing self-driving technology in California, regulators argued.
Uber maintains it does not need a permit because the cars are not sophisticated enough to continuously drive themselves, although the company promotes them as “self-driving.”
The DMV said the registrations for the vehicles were improperly issued because they were not properly marked as test vehicles. It invited Uber to seek a permit so their vehicles could operate legally in California — an offer the company said it did not plan to accept.
Uber said in a statement that it was looking for where it could redeploy the cars, but remained 100 percent committed to California and would redouble its efforts “to develop workable statewide rules.”
The ride-sharing company says the cars must constantly be monitored by a human driver trained to take control at any time, so they don't fall under California's permitting requirements for “autonomous vehicles.”
San Francisco is Uber's second self-driving city; its first cars have been cruising around Pittsburgh since September.