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Uber Self-Driving Cars Back on Streets of SF - By jkukura - March 27, 2017 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Uber Self-Driving Cars Back on Streets of SF

iwasaround/Flickr

Ride-sharing service Uber flipped out this weekend when one of their autonomous, self-driving Volvos flipped onto its side in a Friday, March 24 collision in Tempe, Arizona. Uber pulled all of their California self-driving vehicles off the roads in response, but Tempe police have determined that the autonomous Uber was not at fault. So it’s now full-speed ahead for Uber’s robot car testing, which resumes on San Francisco streets today.

“We are resuming our development operations in San Francisco this morning,” an anonymous Uber spokesperson told Reuters in a Monday morning email.

It’s not as if there will be a huge fleet of Uber robot cars taking over San Francisco’s streets. There are only two self-driving Ubers operating in San Francisco, and a permitted test driver is behind the wheel of both at all times in case anything should go haywire.

Uber moved the majority of its self-driving car testing to Arizona in December 2016 when the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the company’s autonomous testing permits. The DMV reissued a limited permit  in early March for two self-driving Uber cars in California, both of which are operating in San Francisco.

The Arizona accident may have actually been a welcome distraction for Uber, with a Korean escort bar scandal also ensnaring CEO Travis Kalanick and top company executives over the weekend. There haven’t been any collisions with Uber self-driving cars in San Francisco, but the cars have been seen running red lights and barging into bike lanes during their limited testing in the city.