Uber reverses course, will apply for California permit to test self-driving cars

Uber reverses course, will apply for California permit to test self-driving cars
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Uber said on Thursday that it has applied for the necessary permit to test its self-driving cars in California after initially battling with the state.

The self-driving car company debated with California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) officials for months over whether or not it needed to acquire a permit to test autonomous vehicles in the state, as revealed by emails released this week.

Uber contended that under California state law it was exempt, because the cars being tested had humans at the wheel, ready to intervene if necessary. The California DMV argued that with or without a human driver, the company still needed a permit to test such technology. 

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After initially reaching an impasse with the California DMV over the permit issue in December, Uber shipped much of its self-driving car fleet to Arizona for testing.

Now it seems the company is changing its tune.

"We are taking steps to complete our application to apply for a DMV testing permit. As we said in December, Uber remains 100 percent committed to California," an Uber spokesperson said, the Mercury News reports.

The California DMV had already issued temporary operating permits for two of Uber's self-driving Volvos, but they are still being driven manually until the proper permit comes through.