Uber is going to meet with California’s Department of Motor Vehicles and the state’s Attorney General’s office on Wednesday afternoon, as first reported by San Francisco Business Times and confirmed by TechCrunch via the DMV. The meeting’s specific purpose wasn’t shared, but it’s definitely going to involve discussions around the company’s deployment of self-driving Uber SUVs in San Francisco.
The DMV could not provide any further info or details about the meeting to TechCrunch, but did say that lawyers from the state Attorney General’s office would be meeting with “representatives” from both Uber and the motor vehicle regulatory agency. Uber and the DMV have been trading statements in the press since Uber originally began its self-driving vehicle service (which uses semi-autonomous test cars with safety drivers and engineers on board) on December 14.
Uber did not seek a self-driving test permit from the DMV, and instead argued that its cars did not require this clearance because its vehicles are not truly autonomous yet, and require drivers at the wheel at all times. The DMV responded requiring that Uber fulfill its permitting requirement, as have 20 other companies testing autonomous tech on state roads, and the California Attorney General’s Office chimed in with a letter in support of the DMV’s position, noting that Uber would face legal repercussions, including potential injunctions, if it did not comply.
A meeting between the three could result in some kind of détente to the current stand-off, wherein Uber is continuing to operate its cars in clear defiance of the DMV and Attorney General’s requests. As Josh pointed out earlier today, this could all be a light show orchestrated by Uber to distract from more fundamental questions, and, if so, we might indeed see a more peaceable agreement prevail after Wednesday’s meeting.