Uber Tries to Bring Self-Driving Cars to San Francisco
In September, Uber rolled out its self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, ushering in a new wave of transportation technology that will likely reshape our lives. The ride-sharing company partnered with Swedish automaker Volvo to convert several of the brand's XC90 SUVs into self-driving machines. For the most part, the cars will drive themselves, although Uber will have a safety driver and test engineer onboard to handle any problems that may arise.
Uber shared yesterday (December 14) that it would begin putting the autonomous SUVs on the road in San Francisco, but its plan hit a massive speed bump last night, as the company neglected to secure a permit to operate its fleet of self-driving Volvos. So, the California Department of Motor Vehicles issued a cease and desist letter ordering Uber to stop operating the vehicles.
Because there's never a dull moment when it comes to Uber, the program received another setback when it became clear that two of the vehicles ran red lights while driving in the city. A spokesperson for Uber says both incidents were investigated thoroughly and that both instances were due to human error, not the car.
Reminder: If you don't have an Uber account, you can sign up here to receive a free ride (up to $20) from TPG. Also, keep in mind that there are certain credit cards that allow you to maximize the dollars you spend when you ride with Uber or Lyft — even if there isn't a human behind the wheel.