Uber snubs California, moves self-driving cars to Arizona
From CNET: It's been a short, bumpy trip for the ride-hailing company and its autonomous vehicle program in the state. It took only one week for Uber to unleash its self-driving car pilot on California streets, have the state declare them illegal, and then have Uber pack up and move to Arizona.
Uber made it clear Thursday afternoon that the company would rather go to a place where it feels welcome than continue negotiations with California regulators.
"Our cars departed for Arizona this morning by truck," an Uber spokeswoman wrote in an email. "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."
Uber made its name by pairing passengers with drivers via a phone app. Over the past six years, it's grown from a small startup to a multinational company with operations in more than 400 cities in 72 countries. Now Uber is going a step further, venturing into robotics and artificial intelligence with autonomous vehicles. In this arena, the company must first get the blessing of state officials, which is where it made missteps in California.
Uber started its self-driving car program in San Francisco last week. But within hours of the launch, the DMV told the company it was breaking the law and needed to halt the program until it got a permit. Uber refused to back down and announced it would keep the cars on the road.
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