Uber launches self-driving cars in San Francisco
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Launching the program kicked off a battle with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which said on Tuesday that Uber does not have a permit to test autonomous vehicles on California roads, and demanded the company follow the permitting process that is in place.
“Twenty manufacturers have already obtained permits to test hundreds of cars on California roads. Uber shall do the same,” the agency said in a written statement.
Uber’s self-driving cars have been seen around San Francisco since at least September.
Uber argues that its cars are not able to drive without a person monitoring them – a driver and an engineer are in the front seats to take over frequently in situations such as a construction zone or pedestrian crossing – so the California law does not apply. California defines autonomous vehicles as cars that have the “capability” to drive “without the active physical control or monitoring of a natural person.”
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