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Uber retreats in San Francisco

Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 01:21

Uber removes its self-driving cars from San Francisco streets just as Alphabet and Honda Motor explore a partnership over autonomous vehicles. Fred Katayama reports.

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Two big developments on autonomous cars in California. Uber has removed its self-driving cars from the streets of San Francisco. This comes one week after its launch. The swashbuckling company caved after the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the registration of Uber's self-driving cars because they had been driving without proper permits. Uber had earlier argued it doesn't need a permit because a driver and engineer are in the front seats of its autonomous cars to take over in sticky situations. An Uber spokeswoman said, "We're now looking at where we can redeploy these cars but remain 100 percent committed to California and will be redoubling our efforts to develop workable statewide rules." Also possibly doubling: partnerships by Google's parent, Alphabet. Its Waymo unit is in talks with Honda Motor about testing its self-driving technology in the Japanese automaker's vehicles. Honda would become Alphabet's second partner after Fiat Chrysler. IHS Automotive senior analyst Jeremy Carlson said, "You've got Google, which is engaging with another automaker to apply its technology into different vehicles and different platforms." Forming partnerships is part of a drive by tech firms like Waymo to embed their autonomous technology into more vehicles.

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Uber retreats in San Francisco

Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 01:21