Uber’s self-driving cars are heading to Arizona

Only one week after launching its self-driving pilot program in San Francisco, the birth place of Uber, the trial is moving to Phoenix, Arizona.

“Our cars departed for Arizona this morning by truck,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement of the fleet of modified Volvo XC90 cars. “We’ll be expanding our self-driving pilot there in the next few weeks, and we’re excited to have the support of Governor Ducey.”

In 2015, Uber announced a partnership with the University of Arizona’s College of Optical science. The project focuses on research and development in the optics space for mapping and safety. Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order at the time, allowing the testing of the self-driving cars in the state.

The vehicles began testing in San Francisco, however after one week they were faced with backlash. The California Department of Motor Vehicles in partnership with the attorney general said the program has failed to obtain a permit to test self-driving cars. Uber in rebuttal, argued that the cars were exempt from a permit due to the presence of safety drivers in the car at all times. The presence of the driver meant the vehicles did not match the state’s description of an ‘autonomous vehicle’.

Given Uber’s existing relationship with Arizona, the cars will move testing to the state.

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