Uber autonomous vehicles are now free to wander the streets of California after the company got the permit to bring back its self-driving cars there. Uber Technologies has secured the demanded license from state lawmakers. The big announcement was made on March 8th. Nevertheless, they will not be allowed at first to bring passenger aboard for a while.
The permit obtained gives this company the opportunity to bring back their cars on the streets of their home state. However, in the meantime, there are still companies like Tesla, Ford, Alphabet and 23 more others which are competing to obtain the permit which assures their testing, receiving a slice of the self-driving car market.
This permit obtained by Uber also celebrates a concession for the company which has long fought California lawmakers over the requirement. Initially, Uber Technologies rejected the idea of applying for the $150 permit. Back in December, after a standoff with lawmakers which lasted more than a week, Uber decided to move their autonomous vehicles from San Francisco to Arizona, which is known to be a state that has fewer rules regarding self-driving cars.
During this time, Uber claimed that its vehicles do not meet the state’s definition of a self-driving vehicle because they request for constant monitoring by a driver. Now, the company managed to bring back its self-driving technology back to California, agreeing with the state’s regulations. Jessica Gonzalez, the spokeswoman for the California Department of Motor Vehicles, confirmed that back on Wednesday the company got the necessary permit which allows it to test its Uber autonomous vehicles on the state’s public roads.
Gonzalez also claimed that AI startup Plus Ai got the permit for testing autonomous cars on March 8th. The autonomous vehicle market is starting to become more crowded with both auto manufacturers and startups which are struggling to design self-driving technology which could soon replace common cars. Based on the information provided by a spokeswoman from Uber, the company will not make available their autonomous vehicles right away.
Uber Technologies needs time to develop its fleet, being subjected to several regulatory requirements like getting these cars smog tested and registered. The company’s efforts to enhance their self-driving program occurs as they experienced a lawsuit from Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous vehicle unit which accused Uber of stealing designs.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia