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Uber Launches Self-Driving Cars in Arizona, Finally Gains Approval

Mar 08, 2017 04:59 AM EST
Uber Launches Self-Driving Cars In Arizona, Finally Gains Approval
Citizens living in Tempe, Arizona can now hire a Volvo XC90 SUV to drive themselves to various destinations.
(Photo : Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Uber is finally ready to launch its second autonomous ride-hailing service in Arizona, now with the approval of Gov. Doug Ducey.

Citizens living in Tempe, Arizona can now hire a Volvo XC90 SUV to drive themselves to various destinations. They are all self-driving vehicles -- well, sort of. The rides will have Uber engineers on the background as safety drivers.

The Verge said that a few months back, California's Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the registration of Uber to Arizona because the company did not file some of the permits needed to test their cars.

The spat between California and Uber lasted a few days. The Verge explained that California law requires companies that test self-riding vehicles, like Uber, to register for an autonomous driving permit. They will also have to publicize the number of times their self-riding car's software will force drivers to take control of the vehicle.

Uber felt the rule did not apply to them as there were no drivers present in the test. Unfortunately, this also meant California had to revoke the registration of the cars.

Interestingly, Ducey has a different approach. According to his executive order last 2015, he encouraged agencies to "take any necessary steps" that could support the operation of self-driving vehicles across Arizona.

This, of course, means Uber now has another training platform for its plans to make self-riding cars an available option for its many customers. Uber's service in Arizona is one of the company's experiments, the first being a similar test of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh last year.

Gov. Ducey will be the first rider of the self-driving Uber trip along with Anthony Levandowski, Uber Advanced Technologies Group vice president. Uber is also looking forward to launch in other cities in Arizona.

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