The California DMV says the company did not have a permit to test its cars on public roads.
Uber unleashed its fleet of autonomous Volvo XC90s onto the streets of San Francisco this past Wednesday, but already the company is running into some issues. Just days after the program was launched on a trial basis, California regulators are pulling the plug on the self-driving experiment.
According to the Associated Press, the company reportedly did not have the proper permits to roll out its autonomous ride-sharing program on public roads. Of the 20 companies already approved for testing, Uber is not one of them. The California Department of Motor Vehicles issued a statement saying:
"We have a permitting process in place to ensure public safety as this technology is being tested. Twenty manufacturers have already obtained permits to test hundreds of cars on California roads. Uber shall do the same."
To make matters worse, a video obtained by the San Francisco Examiner shows an Uber autonomous vehicle running a red light in a downtown area. A company spokesperson confirmed in a statement to TechCrunch that the red light violation along with another reported violation the same day were the fault of the drivers (i.e. the engineers behind the wheel), and not the cars themselves.
"This incident was due to human error. This is why we believe so much in making the roads safer by building self-driving Ubers. This vehicle was not part of the pilot and was not carrying customers. The driver involved has been suspended while we continue to investigate."
For now, Uber is barred from continued testing on public roads in California until the company able to secure the proper paperwork from the Department of Motor Vehicles.