Roadshow

Self-driving Uber allegedly spotted on the streets of San Francisco

Spoiler alert: It may not have actually been driving itself.

A dark gray Uber outfitted with self-driving technology (and a driver behind the wheel) made the morning commute of one San Franciscan a little more exciting on Tuesday as it cruised down the city's busy Market Street thoroughfare. The man, Drew Olanoff, shot video and uploaded it to Instagram.

The self-driving car in question.

Screenshot by Gordon Gottsegen/CNET

Uber isn't the only ride-hailing company questing to put autonomous vehicles on the streets. Just yesterday, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer said that the self-driving cars will make up most of its fleet within five years.

For its part, Uber has already started testing self-driving capabilities in Pittsburgh and stated that these cars are collecting map data in the area. The implications are exciting if Uber really had begun testing autonomous ride-hailing in its San Francisco base. However, that's probably not be the case. Uber told SF Gate that a car spotted last week with similar markings (it could have even been the same car) was also collecting map data.

Uber didn't respond to a request for comment. The company has previously noted that its self-driving tests are still in the early stages.

It's also likely too soon to do anything else. In order to test autonomous cars in California, Uber must first receive a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. According to Business Insider, a DMV spokesperson stated that Uber does not have that permission yet.

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