Just one week after its launch in San Francisco, car company Uber has packed up its self-driving program and headed to Phoenix, Arizona instead.
This was due to California’s requirement of a permit after several of the self-driving cars were caught going through red lights – something Uber wasn’t willing to wait for.
The California vehicle code defines an autonomous vehicle as a “technology that has the capability to drive a vehicle without the active physical control or monitoring by a human operator.”
Shortly after this news, Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey tweeted Uber: “California may not want you; but AZ does!”
The next morning, the self-driving cars were en route to Arizona.
“Our cars departed for Arizona this morning by truck,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ll be expanding our self-driving pilot there in the next few weeks, and we’re excited to have the support of Governor Ducey.”
“Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads,” said Doug Ducey in a statement. “While California puts the brakes on innovation and change with more bureaucracy and more regulation, Arizona is paving the way for new technology and new businesses.”
The state department of transportation also gave a positive statement for the self-driving cars.
“Part of what makes Arizona an ideal place for Uber and other companies to test autonomous vehicle technology is that there are no special permits or licensing required. In Arizona, autonomous vehicles have the same registration requirements as any other vehicle, and nothing in state law prevents testing autonomous vehicles.”
As one of the US’s poorer states, Arizona has gone out of its way to host technology companies in order to boost its economy.
Uber still operates their self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, where the program earlier this year. San Francisco was the second city where residents could request a ride in a self-driving car.