Uber Robo-Car Wars – the force of CA DMV wins in San Francisco

The California Department of Motor Vehicles have revoked the registrations for the Uber Volvo XC90 SUVs that were self-driving without autonomous permits in San Francisco. Uber removed the vehicles from San Francisco streets fro now.

“It was determined that the registrations were improperly issued for these vehicles because they were not properly marked as test vehicles,” the DMV said in a statement following a meeting of the agency, Uber and the California attorney general’s office.

Uber previously was saying that the self-driving permit laws did not apply to their vehicles because there were drivers and engineers behind the wheels.

Uber is now looking for another location to redeploy the cars but claims to be committed to California.

Uber self-driving cars have been testing in San Francisco for a month. A taxi caught a self-driving Uber car go through a red light on video. Local residents have seen the cars run red lights. Bicycle advocates were in vehicles when they driving improperly when turning through bike lanes.

Earlier today, Consumer WatchDog noted, that Uber is refusing to obtain required permits to test robot cars on San Francisco streets in order to keep test information secret and avoid public scrutiny

Under California law companies testing self-driving cars with a permit in the state must file reports of any crashes and annual “disengagement reports” describing when the robot technology failed and a human operator had to intervene. Both reports are posted on the DMV’s website.

“Uber has claimed they’re refusing to get permits ‘on principle.’ That’s nonsense; they just don’t want to reveal how flawed and dangerous their robot cars are,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director. “We’re already getting reports of their robot cars running red lights and other drivers slamming on brakes to avoid a crash.”