It didn’t take long for Uber to run into trouble while testing its self-driving vehicle service. But it wasn’t the vehicles themselves that gave Uber any problems — this time, it was the state of California.
Just hours after the company unleashed its fleet of autonomous Volvos in San Francisco, the California DMV ordered Uber to “cease the operations” of those vehicles. Turns out, California requires companies testing autonomous vehicles on public roads to have a specific permit — one that Uber hasn’t submitted.
However, the ride sharing company doesn’t believe that it needs a permit, since every vehicle has a driver in the front seat with their hands on the wheel. Currently, Uber operates a similar program in Pittsburgh with this practice. But California seems to have a different process in mind.
Self-Driving Vehicle Laws are Still in Development
Time will tell how Uber and the California DMV sort out this issue. But it’s one that’s bound to come up when there are rapidly changing industries or concepts like autonomous vehicles. It’s the same thing when your business proposes something new or introduces a new product in the community. It’s important for you to investigate what permits or other issues are involved to operate within local laws and regulations.
So companies like Uber may have to deal with some delays or other issues when breaking into those new markets. In the meantime, they’ll probably want to make sure their self-driving fleet is still following the traditional rules of the road, too.
Uber Photo via Shutterstock
That is exactly my concern about these cars. There is a risk for accidents. Anything automatic is always at risk for accidents.
I think they’ll probably get a lot safer as the technology evolves – but I don’t think having permits for companies that want to test them on public roads is a bad idea