Uber Technolgies Inc. has denied the demand of California regulators that the ride-service company should apply for a permit to test self-driving cars. It is expected that this will possibly lead to a legal battle.
Uber stated that its self-driving cars will remain on the road, and it disagreed with an order from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to stop testing the self-driving cars on the road.
Vice President of Uber's Advanced Technologies Group, Anthony Levandowski said, "We respectfully disagree with the California Department of Motor Vehicles legal interpretation of today's autonomous regulations."
Levandowski also stated that the Uber's self-driving cars are not capable of driving without active physical control or monitoring as the California law defines autonomous vehicles.
The California DMW requires the companies to apply for and receive a permit to test autonomous cars. Regulations also demand the manufacturers to provide the DMW with accident reports.
It was also suggested that Uber was trying to skirt the accident disclosures, but Levandowski rejected the suggestion. He said, "We think that's a very important part of building trust and understanding. The problem is that (the regulation) doesn't apply to us."
Several companies exploring the self-driving technology, including Alphabet's Google, Tesla Motors and Ford Motor Co., have obtained a permit from DMW to test 130 cars. But despite having its cars on the road Uber has not applied for a permit.
The DMW has stated that if Uber does not stop its operations immediately and apply for a permit, the regulatory will take legal action against the company. Which indicates at a legal battle between the two.
The Uber self-driving cars are equipped with a driver and an engineer in the front seats to take control of the car in situations such as pedestrian crossing, construction zone and taking a left turn across a lane of traffic.
Levandowski compared the Uber self-driving cars with the Tesla's Autopilot system and other driver assistance systems found in new cars. He said, "This type of technology is commonplace on thousands of cars driving in the Bay Area today, without any DMV permit at all."