Uber’s self-driving car program has come under the spotlight following the fatal accident involving one of its test cars last week. The accident resulted in the death of a pedestrian in what’s likely the first known fatal accident involving a self-driving car. Uber has already grounded its entire fleet of self-driving cars and now the company has decided not to renew the necessary permits in California.
Uber’s existing permit to test self-driving cars on public roads in California is going to expire on March 31st. The company has decided not to re-apply for a new permit.
“We proactively suspended our self-driving operations, including in California, immediately following the Tempe incident,” said a spokesperson for Uber, adding that “Given this, we decided to not reapply for a California permit with the understanding that our self-driving vehicles would not operate in the state in the immediate future.”
California is one of the many locations where Uber has been testing self-driving cars on public roads. The fleet there was grounded immediately after the accident in Tempe, Arizona and since the company doesn’t expect to put them back on the roads in the immediate future, it doesn’t see a need to renew the permit just yet.
If and when Uber decides to start testings its self-driving cars on public roads in California once again, it’s going to have to apply for a new permit aside from addressing “any follow-up analysis or investigations from the recent crash in Arizona,” according to a letter from DMV Deputy Director/Chief Counsel Brian Soublet sent to Uber’s head of public affairs, Austin Heyworth.