Uber is bringing its self-driving Ford Fusions to San Francisco —
but this time with its self-driving mode disabled.
The futuristic-looking Ubers will be reappearing on the streets
of its hometown on Wednesday, nearly a month after the California
revoked its vehicle registrations in a very
public dispute with the company.
The Ford Fusions, which had previously been used in the
Pittsburgh self-driving car pilot, won’t be able to drive
“These cars are being used for Uber’s mapping purposes
only. They are being driven manually at all times and their
self-driving systems are disabled,” Uber said in a
The Ford Fusions had been driving around San Francisco
since last summer to map its streets in advance of launching a
self-driving car pilot. But both the self-driving car pilot and
its mapping efforts
were disbanded after the California DMV revoked the
registrations on the basis that Uber failed to gain the
necessary self-driving permits. Uber, for its part,
has always argued that the self-driving permits do not apply
to its vehicles.
For its mapping cars, though, California said it worked
with the company to help reinstate their registrations on the
condition that they’re strictly for mapping, according to a
to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The DMV worked with Uber to reinstate the registrations
for five vehicles — with the full understanding that the vehicles
will be used in a mapping capacity only,” Melissa Figueroa, a
spokeswoman for the California State Transportation Agency,
told the Chronicle. “Several companies in California use
vehicles such as this for the same purpose. Should Uber decide
they want to revisit the issue of self-driving technology on the
streets and roads in California, the offer to help them secure
proper permitting stands.”