After some popcorn-worthy drama between Uber and California, it appears the ridesharing giant has finally set up its autonomous pilot program in Arizona.
Uber announced on Twitter today that its fleet of self-driving Volvo XC90s is operational and ready for action in the Grand Canyon State. It's been about two months since Uber packed up its toys and moved to a different (and more literal) sandbox, after getting into a big ol' kerfuffle with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
In mid-December, Uber introduced a fleet of self-driving Volvo XC90s in California. The company, however, forgot about this thing called making sure that's fine, opting to ignore the DMV's requirement for a $150 permit and accident disclosures.
Why did it do that? Because it claimed the cars had drivers present, ready to assume control at any time, making those requirements unnecessary.
Since that didn't actually make the requirements unnecessary, the DMV demanded Uber stop its pilot program until it secured the permit. Uber said it wouldn't, but eventually, it did, after the DMV revoked the registration for all 16 of its autonomous XC90s. Uber, being the company run by grown-ass adults that it is, decided to toss the cars on a truck and headed to Arizona.
That brings us to today. It appears today is the first day that the XC90s will be operational, and a tweet from a local reporter makes it sound like Arizona Governor Doug Ducey would be one of the first to take a spin.
It's likely that, as before, the cars will operate anonymously within the greater Uber fleet in the Tempe area, with users unable to request them specifically. Since Arizona's autonomous regulations are somewhat... loose, there's a good chance the XC90s will stick around for a while.