A few months ago, ride-share giant Uber caused quite a stir in San Francisco when they used self-driving vehicles as part of their service without a permit. Now their self-driving truck start-up Otto is taking similar heat, with Consumer Watchdog calling on the Department of Motor Vehicles to revoke Otto’s robot truck registrations. They’re also asking for the DMV to hand down appropriate charges against the company and its executives for unauthorized testing of self-driving technology on California roads.
The group also said that given Otto's actions, Uber cannot be trusted and the DMV should revoke the registrations of the robot cars Uber recently returned to San Francisco with the claim they won't operate in self-driving mode. Uber bought Otto last summer to get access to its self-driving technology.
In a formal complaint to DMV Director Jean Shiomoto, John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project Director wrote:
"As you know, testing self-driving vehicles in California requires a permit, something that 21 companies have obtained with no problem. Moreover, self-driving vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds cannot be tested in the state under current regulations. Otto's robot trucks fail on both counts. They have no permits and they weigh too much."
"Based on Otto's behavior, there is absolutely no reason to take Uber's word for anything," wrote Simpson. "The company simply cannot be trusted. We call on you to revoke Ubers robot car registrations again."