Uber self driving Volvo cars that started to pick up passengers in San Francisco have already been ordered to cease operations immediately or face legal action. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sent a cease and desist letter for operating without a permit. The letter addressed to Anthony Levandowski, the co-founder of Otto and now head of Uber self driving autonomous car programs.
“Had Uber obtained an autonomous vehicle testing permit prior to today, the company’s launch would have been permissible,”, “If Uber does not confirm immediately that it will stop and seek a testing permit, DMV will initiate legal action, including, but not limited to, seeking injunctive relief.” Brian Soublet, The California DMV Deputy Director and Chief Counsel, wrote in the letter.
Uber hadn’t registered for Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program when the Uber self driving Volvo cars started driving. Uber never applied for DMV permit to operate autonomous vehicles on public roads in California as is required because Uber self driving Volvo cars, XC90s aren’t fully self driving and thus have safety driver behind the wheel, according to Uber. Nevertheless, the DMV says Uber still is required to obtain a permit.
“For us, it’s still early days and our cars are not yet ready to drive without a person monitoring them,” Uber said in a Uber Newsroom blog post.
The letter comes after dash-cam video from Luxor cab driver was posted on YouTube, showing what it claimed was a driverless Uber vehicle running a red light.
Google announced that it was spinning off self driving car team under new name called Waymo, with a mission to begin commercializing its car sensor technology. Waymo will still receive support from Alphabet, will be tasked with make its autonomous car sensor technology profitable in the years to come, mostly likely by forging partnerships with existing auto manufacturers.
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