Saturday, December 17, 2016

California State Attorney General’s Office warns Uber of legal action if it doesn’t comply with state self-driving car permitting regulations

On Friday, December 16, 2016, Miguel A. Neri and Fiel D. Tigno, both Supervising Deputy Attorneys General in the office of California State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, sent a letter to Anthony Levandowski, head of Uber’s self-driving car operations, demanding that Uber “immediately remove its ‘self-driving’ vehicles from the state’s roadways until Uber complies with all applicable statutes and regulations.”  Here’s the text of that letter, in its entirety:

RE:  Department of Motor Vehicles Communication to Uber

Dear Mr. Levandowski:

            I am following up on the December 14, 2016, letter sent to you by Mr. Brian Soublet of the California Department of Motor Vehicles.  The Department of Motor Vehicles has asked the Attorney General to take action.

            Accordingly, we, as attorneys for the Department of Motor Vehicles, by this letter, are asking Uber to adhere to California law and immediately remove its “self-driving” vehicles from the state’s roadways until Uber complies with all applicable statutes and regulations.  If Uber cannot advise the undersigned that it will immediately remove its self-driving vehicles from California public roadways until it obtains the appropriate permit, as 20 other companies have done, the Attorney General will seek injunctive and other appropriate relief.

            I look forward to hearing from you.

Etopia News also looks forward to hearing from Uber on this subject, since the ride-hailing company has hitherto refused to comment on this issue to it or any other news outlet, relying instead on previous remarks by Mr. Levandowski in the company blog as its contribution to the discussion.

In those remarks, Mr. Levandowski states:  “we understand that there is a debate over whether or not we need a testing permit to launch self-driving Ubers in San Francisco. We have looked at this issue carefully and we don’t believe we do.”

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