After a week-long feud with California regulators, Uber’s self-driving car program is leaving the state after regulators delivered a death-blow to its self-driving car plans.
The cars left for Arizona on Thursday morning, where Uber will try to restart its self-driving car pilot, according to the company.
“Our cars departed for Arizona this morning by truck. 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,” an Uber spokesperson said.
In a final blow to Uber’s self-driving car ambitions in the state, the California DMV revoked the registration of Uber’s 16 autonomous vehicles on Wednesday, forcing the company to shut down its self-driving pilot program in San Francisco.
“It was determined that the registrations were improperly issued for these vehicles because they were not properly marked as test vehicles,” the DMV wrote in a letter to Uber on Wednesday.
The DMV’s revocation of the vehicle registrations on Wednesday gives the California regulators the upper hand and settles the argument between the two in favour of the state. The disagreement began when Uber launched a new self-driving car pilot last week, similar to the program it’s already running in Pittsburgh. But it didn’t obtain the proper licence from the DMV that is required by all self-driving carmakers.
Uber and the California DMV immediately started trading barbs over whether or not its car program should be permitted under California regulations. The DMV put out a statement saying that Uber “shall” get the permit to test its self-driving vehicles on public roads, but the company told Business Insider at the time that it had no plans whatsoever to apply for a permit since it didn’t believe its cars fit the state’s definition of autonomous vehicles.
Under the regulations, advanced autopilot systems, like Tesla’s, are not regulated whereas Google’s testing of its autonomous vehicle adheres to strict rules.
Instead of applying for the permit in California, the company has decided to leave the state with its cars altogether, piling them on the back of its self-driving truck.