Uber’s self-driving cars to remain on SF roads, challenging California DMV’s order
On Friday, ride-hailing service Uber said that it intends to continue operating its self-driving cars on San Francisco roads despite the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)’s Wednesday order that to take the cars off the road.
In a conference call with reporters on Friday, Uber’s Anthony Levandowski – the company’s VP of self-driving technology – said that "The cars are on the road today," and added that they will continue operating in San Francisco, picking up passengers.
Though the DMV has asked Uber to stop operating its self-driving cars in San Francisco because it requires a permit to test autonomous vehicles on public roads, Uber is of the opinion that it does not need to get a permit because its cars are not autonomous at all.
According to Uber, the law which the company is supposedly breaking does not apply to its self-driving cars because they are constantly monitored by humans who can take over the control at any time. Uber also asserted that its self-driving cars are not autonomous because they are not yet "capable" of driving without monitoring or active physical control.
However, the DMV says that the law is applicable to the kind of technology used in a vehicle, and does not pertain to whether the vehicle is being steered by a human. As such, going by the DMV’s explanation, if a car is equipped to be autonomous eventually, it is subject to the law.