California AG threatens action against Uber’s self-driving cars

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has told Uber Technologies Inc. to pull its self-driving cars from San Francisco’s streets or it will seek a court order forcing it do so, saying the ride-hailing company needs a permit under autonomous vehicle regulations. If Uber doesn’t comply with the state’s rules, “as have 20 other companies,” the attorney general’s office will ask a judge to require the self-driving cars be taken off the roads, the attorney general’s office wrote in a letter Friday to Uber. Earlier Friday, Uber doubled down on its decision to ignore California Department of Motor Vehicles rules on autonomous vehicles, saying it hadn’t behaved any differently than Tesla Motors Inc., whose electric cars include a technology called autopilot. The ride-hailing service made its self-driving cars available this week to customers in its hometown of San Francisco. Brian Soublet, the state DMV’s chief counsel, on Wednesday declared Uber’s decision “illegal” and asked the company to stop driving its autonomous cars on public roads. DMV officials also asked the attorney general’s office to intervene, according to the AG’s letter to Uber. Uber’s self-driving cars remained on the road as of Friday, said Anthony Levandowski, head of the company’s Advanced Technologies Group, who pointed toward Tesla’s electric cars to justify Uber’s actions. (Eric Newcomer/Bloomberg)

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