California’s top cop is threatening legal action against Uber over its self-driving vehicle program in San Francisco.
The office of Attorney General Kamala Harris said Uber should park its semi-autonomous Volvo SUVs until it obtains a permit for use on city streets, CBS San Francisco reported Friday night.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee echoed the same on Friday after having talked to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick by phone, the TV station said.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Lee’s office said in a statement via CBS SF: “Uber is failing to be a respectful civic partner to the city of San Francisco by choosing to put Uber’s self-interest before the safety of the residents of their hometown.”
“The mayor is working with the DMV, state officials and the City Attorney’s Office to explore all possible avenues available to use to enforce state law,” she said.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles asked Uber to stop its pilot program on Wednesday, hours after the ride-hailing company’s self-driving program began.
As reported earlier by Business Insider’s Biz Carson, Uber’s vice president of advanced technologies, Anthony Levandowski, said that the company stands by its argument that its cars do not meet the definition of autonomous vehicles.
Despite using the moniker “self-driving,” the cars are not capable of driving without the active monitoring of a human in the front seat, Levandowski said.
Instead, Uber is arguing that its cars are more aligned with electric-car maker Tesla’s autopilot feature – an advanced driver-assistance system, but not a car that’s fully autonomous.
“The problem is that it doesn’t apply to us. There’s no reason to get regulations,” Levandowski said.
Offices of the California attorney general and the San Francisco mayor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.