Uber is reportedly moving its self-driving cars to Arizona. The ride-hailing firm began trialling its self-driving cars on San Francisco streets last week. However, California regulators were quick to slam Uber for putting autonomous cars on roads without obtaining permits. A week-long battle with the authorities ended with the state revoking Uber's registration for its self-driving cars altogether.
Arizona, however, does not require a special permit for autonomous vehicles. According to the state's Department of Transportation, automated vehicles have the same registration requirements as every other car.
On Thursday (22 December) morning, Uber reportedly loaded its self-driving cars onto long-haul trucks bound for Arizona. "Our cars departed for Arizona this morning by truck," an Uber spokeswoman said, Reuters reported. "We'll be expanding our self-driving pilot there in the next few weeks."
"Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads," said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. "While California puts the brakes on innovation and change with more bureaucracy and more regulation, Arizona is paving the way for new technology and new businesses."
Uber landed in hot water after some of its autonomous vehicles were spotted running red lights in San Francisco. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) threatened to take legal action against Uber unless it stopped its trials. Uber however, pushed back against the state's demands to cease testing, insisting that the state's regulations did not apply to its cars. The resulting dispute has now led to Uber moving bases for its self-driving car trials.
Uber's autonomous vehicles will not be alone on Arizona's roads. Google's parent company Alphabet's autonomous cars division Waymo is also currently testing in Arizona.