Uber hasn’t even completed a week of live testing of its fleet of completely-autonomous Volvo XC90s and they’re already in deep doo-doo.
What’s going on?
Uber has been hitting the headlines with the launch of its first wave of self-driving, completely autonomous Volvo XC90s in San Francisco for a series of real-world tests. It hasn’t been a full week since the cars began testing and already they’re causing trouble.
It all started when a video surfaced on the web of a self-driving Uber XC90 clearly running a redlight sometime last week. Since then, California regulators and the DMV called for a complete grounding of the XC90 fleets. However, Uber isn’t complying and thus has yet to pull the XC90s from the road.
Uh oh, that doesn’t sound good. What are California regulators saying?
Because of the clear video showing the Uber XC90s are still problematic and a safety hazard, the California Attorney General’s office threatened legal action if Uber doesn’t ground the fleet.
The letter was sent later Friday, demanding Uber to apply for the proper permits to allow for continued testing of its XC90s. The permits need to be supplied by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
However, Uber contested these demands claiming its cars feature technology that’s no different than the equipment used on other advanced driver-assistance systems. As a result, the fleet of self-driving XC90s do not need those permits to continue testing.
But Momma California says otherwise…
According to California’s Vehicle Code Section 38750, the DMV amended new legislature regulating the testing and public use of autonomous cars on California’s public roads. Because of these clear statues, the DMV issued a cease-and-desist letter to Uber on Dec. 14 under this code.
But Uber argues that code section only applies to fully-autonomous vehicles with no steering wheel, no pedals, or human driver. The XC90s are still XC90s, just with a bunch of autonomous tech on it.
The debacle is ongoing.
– By: Chris Chin