Uber, a ride-sharing service company headquartered in San Francisco, California, was ordered by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the said state to stop testing its driverless cars on the public roads of the city. The company offered the public rides on their Volvo self-driving cars without first getting a permit from the regulatory agency. As a result, DMV stopped the tests.
Uber argued that the Volvo cars being tested each had a driver inside who could do something if a problem were to arise that required human intervention. Because of this, Uber believed that it was not violating any laws, as the tested cars were technically not driverless, or at least not fully. However, the DMV insisted that Uber had to follow the rules, as other car manufacturers had done before conducting test drives, according to CNN Tech.
When Volvo was asked for a reaction regarding the issue, its product and communication manager stated that Volvo only provided the cars but the technology was developed by Uber. Since it was testing the technology used in the Volvo driverless cars, Volvo could not intervene. Volvo had no knowledge regarding the technology tested, and it is up to the car-sharing service company to decide when and where to test its self-driving cars, according to Forbes.
One incident that raised concerns over the safety of self-driving cars was a video that showed a Volvo XC90s running a red light. However, Uber explained that this vehicle was not part of the cars being tested and that the driver assigned to be present in the said self-driving car had already been suspended, according to The New York Times.
Despite Uber's failure to comment on a letter sent by the DMV, no penalty was meted out and it seems that none will be coming.