Uber ceases self-driving car testing in California

Uber has decided not to renew its autonomous vehicle test permit in the state of California following the death of Elaine Herzberg.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt

Uber will cease autonomous vehicle testing in the state of California, opting not to renew its permit, which is set to expire on March 31, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

According to representatives from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Uber has elected to not renew its autonomous vehicle testing permit after the state indicated it would need sufficient explanation of the faults behind the first recorded traffic death involving a self-driving car in Arizona last week.

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Uber will not renew its self-driving car test permit in California after it expires on March 31.


The state of California requires each entity testing self-driving vehicles on public roads to secure a permit through the DMV and submit what is called a disengagement report in which a company outlines all of the instances in which a human safety driver had to step in and take control of an autonomous vehicle.

Up to this point, Uber had not been required to submit such a report, though a report by the New York Times found that Uber was having difficulty meeting its goal of one driver disengagement per 13 miles traveled. By comparison, Waymo is getting 0.18 disengagements per 1000 miles traveled.

In the wake of the fatal collision with Elaine Herzberg on March 19, Uber had suspended testing of its self-driving cars in San Francisco, Toronto, Tempe and Pittsburgh before Arizona governor Doug Ducey called for the cessation of all AV testing. The decision to not renew its California permit is a huge blow to Uber's continued development of self-driving cars, post-Waymo lawsuit.