A Volvo XC90 SUV decked out in the sensors Uber uses to see the world plowed through the intersection
A Volvo XC90 SUV decked out in the sensors Uber uses to see the world plowed through the intersection roughly three seconds after the light went red, and as a pedestrian was stepping into the crosswalk. In a statement, Uber spokesperson Chelsea Kohler said the car was being operated by its human driver at the time and had no passengers aboard, and that Uber has suspended that driver while it investigates.
Even if it was a human at the wheel, it’s bad news on the day Uber announced it’s welcoming passengers aboard its fleet of driverless cars in the city, and that it’s doing so without filing for an autonomous testing permit with the California DMV. Declining to do that likely means Uber doesn’t have to publicly report things like crashes and “disengagements”—when the human operator takes control to make sure the car operates safely.
In a letter sent to Uber self-driving chief Anthony Levandowski on Wednesday afternoon, California DMV counsel Brian Soublet said that if Uber does not immediately confirm it will stop testing and seek a permit, the DMV will take legal action and seek an injunction. Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.