Only hours after Uber started Tests of its autonomous taxi fleet in San Francisco, the California DMV stopped them. In a letter from December 14th 2016 the head of Uber’s Advanced Technology Center Anthony Levandowski is told that in order to test autonomous cars on public roads Uber has to apply for a license.
So far 20 companies with 130 cars and 480 drivers have received such a test license in California, but the list does not include Uber or the autonomous truck startup Ot.to that Uber recently acquired.
Uber’s opinion is that it doesn’t require to apply for a license, because there is always a driver in the car. California’s DMV has been very supportive of autonomous car technologies, but requires companies to follow certain guidelines and requirements and the application of a test license.
Right on the first day of its official tests an Uber vehicle was caught on tape running a red light on 3rd Street between Howard and Mission at a cross walk right at the SF Museum of Modern Art. Uber said that this was a driver mistake, but not of the self-driving technology. Also there was no passenger in the car.