Uber was recently banned from testing its autonomous vehicles in Arizona, following the fatal crash of its self-driving car that killed a woman. After indefinitely halting the test of its autonomous vehicles in all regions, Uber has now announced that it will put an end to all self-driving car tests in California.
Uber’s permit to test autonomous vehicles in the state expires on March 31, however, the firm has no plans to renew the license, effectively putting an end to the company’s self-driving car program in California. “We decided to not reapply for a California DMV permit with the understanding that our self-driving vehicles would not operate on public roads in the immediate future”, Uber said in a statement.
A report from SFChronicle states that Uber has not applied for a license renewal as it won’t be considered for a review by the regulatory body until the ongoing probe in the Tempe accident concludes. Moreover, Uber is yet to submit the mandatory ‘disengagement’ report which contains details of all instances when a human operator had to take over the autonomous car’s operation. And in absence of the report, the California state department cannot grant the special registration license issued to self-driving vehicles. Internal sources have hinted that Uber’s autonomous vehicle technology has a lot of flaws that still need to be addressed, something which has been pointed out by forensic experts and researchers too.
Uber’s non-renewal of its license in California was confirmed through a letter sent by Brian G. Soublet, Deputy Director of Department of Motor Vehicles, in which he reminded Uber about the impending expiry of its license in the state. “Uber has indicated that it will not renew its current permit to test autonomous vehicles in California. By the terms of its current permit, Uber’s authority to test autonomous vehicles in California public roads will end on March 31, 2018. Prior to resuming autonomous vehicle testing operations in California, Uber must apply for a new autonomous vehicle testing permit”, Soublet wrote.