Uber Self-Driving Cars Back In San Francisco — This Time For Mapping Only

Uber’s self-driving cars returned to the streets of San Francisco yesterday, but this time with their self-driving mode disabled and will be used for mapping purposes only.

The five Ford Fusions, which had previously been used in a Pittsburgh, Pa. self-driving pilot program, will have human drivers controlling the cars at all times.

“These cars are being used for Uber’s mapping purposes only,” Uber said in a statement. “They are being driven manually at all times and their self-driving systems are disabled.”

This comes a month after California’s Department of Motor Vehicles halted the ride-sharing company’s pilot program in the city using autonomous Volvo cars.

The DMV pulled the registrations from the Volvos just hours after the cars were on the streets stating that Uber did not have the required $150 self-driving permits for the cars.

SEE ALSO: Uber Moves Self-Driving Cars From California To Arizona Via Self-Driving Trucks

Uber argued that the permits were not needed because the cars had a driver to monitor the vehicle and take over the wheel if needed and refused to halt the pilot program.

This lead to an ugly public battle that lasted a week, with Uber finally loading the 16 cars onto flatbed trucks and hauling them off to Arizona to test, which has yet to happen.

San Francisco is Uber’s home town, but locals rallied behind the DMV as a video and multiple reports of the Uber vehicles ignoring red lights, stop signs and bike lanes surfaced.

Tempers have since settled and the DMV has no objections to car’s mapping the area.

“The DMV worked with Uber to reinstate the registrations for five vehicles — with the full understanding that the vehicles will be used in a mapping capacity only,” Melissa Figueroa, a spokeswoman for the California State Transportation Agency, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

As for future self-driving tests, “Should Uber decide they want to revisit the issue of self-driving technology on the streets and roads in California, the offer to help them secure proper permitting stands,” Figueroa said.

San Francisco Chronicle

 


More Hybrid News...