Uber ships driver-less fleet to Arizona after Californian regulator revokes registration

Uber Technologies Inc yesterday terminated its autonomous vehicles test programme  in San Francisco and shipped its test vehicles by trucks to Arizona. The move follows a week-long battle with regulators.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on Wednesday revoked the registration of 16 cars in Uber's self-driving fleet, which, according to the regulator, lacked the proper permits (See: Uber halts testing driver-less cars as California regulator revokes fleet registration). Arizona allows self-driving cars on the roads without special permits. The registration requirements for self-driving cars in the state are the same as those for any other car.

Uber's self-driving programme which had run in San Francisco for only week was marked by a stand-off with the state DMV and attorney general, with both threatening  legal action if Uber failed to remove its self-driving cars from the road, which it finally did on Wednesday.

Last morning, Uber loaded its cars onto long-haul trucks owned by Otto - a self-driving truck company which Uber had acquired in August.

"Our cars departed for Arizona this morning by truck," an Uber spokeswoman said in a written statement. "We'll be expanding our self-driving pilot there in the next few weeks."

Seizing the opportunity to capitalise on the matter, Arizona governor Doug Ducey welcomed the ride-hailing company to his state yesterday, saying in a statement that "California may not want you, but we do."

''Our cars departed for Arizona this morning by truck," Uber said in a statement. "We'll be expanding our self-driving pilot there in the next few weeks, and we're excited to have the support of Governor Ducey.''

California director of state DMV, Jean Shiomoto, said in a letter to Uber that it wanted Uber to conduct its test programme in the state, but that it simply needed to apply for a permit first, offering to expedite the process so the company would not need to wait the typical 72 hours it typically took.