After a week fraught with controversy, Uber is relocating its current self-driving car pilot program from bustling San Francisco to the more relaxing environs of Arizona.
An Uber spokesperson told Mashable in a statement, “Our cars departed for Arizona this morning by truck. We’ll be expanding our self-driving pilot there in the next few weeks, and we’re excited to have the support of Governor [Doug] Ducey.”
The announcement follows Wednesday’s news that the State of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles had revoked Uber’s registration of the autonomous automobiles, forcing Uber to pull the cars off roads.
Photos shared by the company show the cars being hauled off by a large OTTO freight truck, the Uber-owned company that successfully completed a 120-mile beer run in Colorado earlier this fall.
(Uber has not responded yet to Mashable‘s question if the truck seen in the photos is one of the self-driving trucks, though, given these recent developments, it’s probably safe to assume the truck is fully manned and driven by humans.)
Uber had tested the self-driving cars earlier this year in Pittsburgh but had rolled out the program again in San Francisco on Dec.14. But as soon as the self-driving cars had hit the road, the DMV had filed its protest. Uber said because the cars aren’t completely driverless — there’s always a human being in the car that can take control — it didn’t need a permit. The DMV disagreed.
The company also ran into several incidents in which the self-driving cars allegedly committed traffic violations, most notably being accused of running a red light in downtown San Francisco. Uber later blamed the incident on human error.
Several other traffic violations committed by the self-driving cars have been alleged, including other reported red light incidents and right turns through bike lanes.
Just passed a ‘self-driving’ Uber that lurched into the intersection on Van Ness, on a red, nearly hitting my Lyft.
— Annie Gaus (@AnnieGaus) December 14, 2016
Right now, the company isn’t disclosing where in Arizona it will be testing its self-driving cars. But Gov. Ducey was sure to make it clear after Uber was rejected by California that he wanted the program in his state.
“Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads,” the Republican governor said. “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.”
While the company hasn’t said why it chose Arizona, VentureBeat notes that the state has had a warm relationship with other tech companies looking to test self-driving cars, like Google and GM, and even has an oversight committee dedicated to the technology.