As Californian motor vehicle authorities banned Uber’s self-driving car tests in San Francisco in the middle of December 2016, the company decided to move this initiative to another state just a few days later. The new place where it is to be implemented will be Arizona. Moreover, Uber even got support by the local governor. The latter, Doug Ducey, seemed to be pretty excited to welcome the company and its self-driving car fleet, according to his posts on social networks.
Sixteen autonomous Volvos were to be delivered to Arizona on specialized trucks. It really seemed like Uber was given a second chance by California’s DMV that issued an invitation for the driverless car company to undergo the process of registration, but Uber refused.
This Uber’s reluctance to continue any relations with Californian authorities can be explained by the company’s hurt feelings that San Francisco – the city where Uber was actually based – created these obstacles for self-driving car tests. However, Uber considered the company’s behavior exactly the same as its competitor, Tesla, had, and the latter was permitted to test their autonomous vehicles.
So, Arizona turned out to be California’s substitute, and Uber headed by Anthony Levandowski hopes to restart its successful self-driving car campaign in the city of Tempe. February 21, 2017 became the first day when the city locals got a chance to meet an autonomously driving Volvo XC90 in the streets. As previously, Uber wasn’t ready to allow its self-driving vehicles not to have any human control, so each of these cars had two corporate engineers who had to control the ride and switch it to a manual mode, if something unexpected happened. Thus, Tempe, AZ, became the second city after Pittsburgh where Uber tested its driverless technology on taxis.
Obviously, Governor Ducey of Arizona seems to be a person who really wants and motivates companies producing self-driving cars or technologies to invade the state. He even made it possible for local universities to research, develop and implement driverless initiatives.