“Houston, we have a problem!” That’s what Uber’s engineers were probably saying to themselves when the world caught on to the above video. The video was captured by Charles Rotter, a cab company employee who works for Luxor Cab San Francisco, from his taxi dashcam on Dec 14, 2016.
You can see in the video that the traffic light has been red for a good 3-4 seconds before the Uber just casually cruises through.
The worst part is that Uber launched their self-driving pilot program without the permission of the DMV or local California authorities, which require permits in order to test any self-driving vehicle on public roadways.
Uber said they thought they didn’t need permits because each of the self-driving cars has a human being in them to monitor the car’s movements, so they’re technically not self-driving unmanned vehicles.
An Uber spokesperson has now publicly blamed the traffic violation on human error and not on the self-driving car. Uber has also fired the drivers they claim were responsible for the traffic violation. Somebody had to take the fall and it sure as heck wasn’t going to be Uber’s self-driving technology, which the company is betting huge on.
The California DMV has now issued a statement ordering Uber to remove all the self-driving cars from the road and to acquire proper permits in order to continue testing. They’ve also threatened immediate legal action if Uber doesn’t comply with the orders.
The company has basically decided it’s above the law and can operate how they want, and since they’re so cash-rich (even though they burn free cash at an epic rate), they’ll deal with any fines or repercussions later.