Remember when Uber rolled out a fleet of autonomous taxis in San Francisco last year? It was a disaster. As a result, Uber temporarily halted its mission and shifted its focus to Arizona. Well, an Uber spokesperson just confirmed that the company is in the process of applying for a DMV testing permit in California, suggesting that those self-driving taxis may make a comeback in the near future.
What went wrong in 2016
Back in December of last year, Uber rolled out its fleet of Volvos on the streets of San Francisco. Only these cars were part of its autonomous driving project. While not fully autonomous, it was definitely a step towards the future, but as you may know, things did not end well for the company.
Right after the launch, people reported incidents where these vehicles would just ignore traffic rules, and worse, the state of California threatened to take legal action because Uber never obtained a DMV permit self-driving cars. Uber argued that since there is a human driver present in the car with his or her hands on the wheel, the vehicle is not truly autonomous, but ultimately, it had to put a stop to its test driving.
Uber may come back to the Golden State soon
According to TechCrunch, an Uber spokesman reaffirmed the company’s commitment to California and suggested that it may soon bring back the test vehicles:
These cars are legally registered and are being driven manually. We are taking steps to complete our application to apply for a DMV testing permit. As we said in December, Uber remains 100 percent committed to California.
As you may have guessed, these are simply test vehicles, meaning you won’t be able to take advantage of them just yet. But as companies gather more information required in accurate mapping of major cities, autonomous taxis might be closer to becoming reality than you expect.