Rather than complying with local rules, Uber shipped their fleet of cars to Arizona this week in a strange turn of events highlighting the regulatory discrepancies regarding autonomous vehicles.
After the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked registrations from 16 of Uber’s self-driving cars for lacking proper permits, the ride-sharing company decided the easiest option would be sending the cars to a state where no permits are required.
The ban came after Uber began rolling out its self-driving vehicles in its hometown of San Francisco without proper permission from the DMV.
Uber argued it was not behaving any differently than Tesla Motors, which makes electric cars that include a feature called Autopilot, and currently tests them in California.
In Arizona, self-driving cars have the same registration requirements as all other vehicles, a strategy meant to attract high-tech companies and the people they employ. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey expressed his interest in the company testing cars in his state in a Tweet earlier this week.
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) December 22, 2016
“Our cars departed for Arizona [Thursday] morning by truck,” a rep for Uber said in a statement. “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.”
Not a fan of regulations
While California has more regulations on self-driving cars, several companies are willing to apply for the proper permits, and continuing to test their cars there. Tesla and Google, for example, have been testing self-driving cars in California and following all necessary registration protocols.
Regulation restrictions have not stopped Uber’s innovation elsewhere either. They also operate self-driving vehicles in Pittsburgh, where an autonomous car testing program began in September 2016. So far, Uber has not announced when the cars will begin testing in Arizona, or provided details about how many cars were sent to the state.