Uber Ends All of its Self-Driving Operations in California

Jeannie Matthews
March 28, 2018

Uber has chose to stop testing autonomous vehicles on California public roads by letting its state permit expire on Saturday without renewing it. None of the investigations have determined whether Uber was at fault in the crash.

Before the company could resume autonomous testing in California, it is required to apply for a new permit.

Additional technological tools marked for creation include a high-precision road map, and an artificial environment allowing for self-driving testing in simulated harsh weather conditions and during nighttime at the autonomous vehicle testing complex K-city.

The chief executive officer of Waymo, formerly Google's self-driving vehicle unit, said over the weekend that he is confident its cars would have been able handle to the situation faced by the Uber in Tempe. Ducey, meanwhile, helped Uber deal with other officials in Arizona, issued decrees that were friendly to the company, tweeted out an advert at the company's request, and even seems to have been open to wearing an Uber T-shirt at an official event.

Ever since one of Uber's self-driving cars killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona earlier this month, their autonomous vehicle program has been on hold.

Uber may seek to renew its California permits at any time, although renewal while federal investigators continue to scrutinize the company over the Arizona crash may be a tough sell.

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Now, a letter from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to Uber's autonomous vehicle program shows that the company has decided not to renew its testing permit. Vehicles operated by Waymo, Google's sister company working on autonomous tech, do almost 5,600 miles.

The Mercury News reported the driver died in a hospital Friday, the day of the crash. Interviews with former Uber employees reveal that the company's haste to get its cars on public roads resulted in some cut corners, most notably scaling back the number of sensors used to detect objects on the road.

The safety record of Uber's self-driving auto technology is now coming under serious scrutiny.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating the crash, along with Tempe Police.

Uber was once one of the biggest testers of autonomous vehicles in California.

It is unclear if the autonomous driving system, called Autopilot, was controlling the vehicle.

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