California DMV Grants Uber Permit to Test Robot Cars in State; Consumer Watchdog Warns Cars Shouldn’t Carry Passengers While Being Tested

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SANTA MONICA, CA. – Uber today received a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test its robot cars in the state and Consumer Watchdog warned that the cars should not carry passengers while still being tested.

“When Uber illegally deployed its robot cars in San Francisco last year, the vehicles were observed driving through red lights,” said John M. Simpson Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director. “Uber’s technology simply isn’t safe enough to put passengers at risk.”

Under California law companies testing self-driving cars with a permit in the state must file reports of any crashes and annual “disengagement reports” describing when the robot technology failed and a human operator had to intervene.  Both reports are posted on the DMV’s website.

“Now that Uber has permits to test, the company’s activities must be closely monitored by police,” Simpson said. “What is clear is that Uber must not use passengers as human guinea pigs as part of a publicity stunt.”

Consumer Watchdog asked people in San Francisco to watch out for traffic violations and safety threats by Uber’s test vehicles.

“If you see something, say something,” Simpson said.  Send reports to: [email protected].



John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

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