California Halts Self-Driving Cars in San Francisco
The ride-sharing company Uber has removed its self-driving cars from the streets of San Francisco, California.
The action came after a dispute between Uber and state officials over whether the vehicles needed special permits to operate.
Uber recently launched testing of its self-driving service in San Francisco.
But shortly after the launch, California's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) told the company to stop the self-driving vehicles. State officials said the Uber cars needed the same special permit given to about 20 other companies testing self-driving technology in California.
But Uber refused to obey and kept its cars on the road in San Francisco. The company, which operates a transportation network around the world, is based in San Francisco. Uber argued that its technology does not make vehicles fully autonomous, and so the special permit was not needed.
It added that all of Uber's "self-driving" cars have a driver sitting in the passenger seat to take over if needed.
The head of Uber's self-driving technology, Anthony Levandowski, explained the company's position in a blog post. He said the self-driving Uber vehicles do use high-technology tools to assist drivers. But, they are not fully autonomous and require a driver to be at the controls at all times.
He compared the technology to solar carmaker Tesla's advanced driver assist tools. Telsa's Autopilot system allows its cars to steer in a lane, change lanes, and speed up or slow down based on nearby traffic. The company tells drivers that, when using Autopilot, they should still always be ready to take control of the vehicle.
Vehicles equipped with these high-tech driver assist tools do not need a special permit to operate in California.
"It's hard to understand why the DMV would seek to require self-driving Ubers to get permits when it accepts that Tesla's autopilot technology does not need them," Levandowski wrote. "We asked for clarification as to specifically what is different about our tech from the DMV, but have not received it."
Uber and state officials were not able to come to an agreement on the issue. On Wednesday, the DMV said it had canceled the registration of Uber's 16 self-driving cars in San Francisco. All U.S. vehicles driven on the road require state registration.
In September, Uber got its first U.S. approval to test self-driving vehicles in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Uber continues to test the cars and give people the chance to experience the technology.
San Francisco's mayor, Ed Lee, praised the DMV for stopping Uber's self-driving vehicles. He said he supports self-driving development and testing. "But only under conditions that put human, bicyclists' and pedestrian safety first."
There were several reports of unsafe incidents involving Uber's self-driving vehicles in San Francisco. Most involved witnesses claiming they saw Uber vehicles not stopping for red lights.
Video of one incident was posted online that appeared to show a self-driving Uber car passing through a red light. Another person posted a photo of what she said was an Uber self-driving car in the road that did not stop for a red traffic light.
In response, Uber said the video of the incident showed why its cars always require close attention from a human driver - and therefore do not need a state permit.
Uber announced it would send the self-driving vehicles to the neighboring state of Arizona to begin a new test project there. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey reportedly said the state welcomed the cars with "open arms" and "wide open roads."
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.self-driving cars 自动驾驶汽车
There are obvious markets for the technology in automotive safety and self-driving cars.
2.close attention 密切注意
Every bank pays close attention to the speed and accuracy of its staff.
3.traffic light 红绿灯
It's dangerous crossing the street here because there is no traffic light.
4.passing through 穿越
We're just passing through on our way to Chicago.
1.It added that all of Uber's "self-driving" cars have a driver sitting in the passenger seat to take over if needed.
take over 接管；接收
Cars gradually took over from horses.
The parliament in Madrid was taken over by civil guards.
2.The company tells drivers that, when using Autopilot, they should still always be ready to take control of the vehicle.
take control of 控制
He failed in his attempt to take control of the company
I learned how to take control of it.
没过多久，加州车辆管理局（DMV）勒令优步停止测试该自动驾驶汽车 。有官员表示，优步需办理其余20家在加州测试自动驾驶汽车的公司所持有的特别许可证才可测试 。
然而，优步方面拒绝了该要求，仍将汽车停放在旧金山的道路上 。优步总部位于旧金山，旗下的交通网络覆盖全球 。优步坚持认为其自动驾驶汽车并非完全自主，因此不需要特别许可证 。
优步自动驾驶技术的负责人Anthony Levandowski在博客中阐明了公司的立场 。他说，自动驾驶汽车利用高科技工具辅助司机 。但是并非完全自主，还需要司机随时控制汽车 。
他将该技术与太阳能汽车制造商特斯拉的先进驾驶辅助工具进行对比 。特斯拉的自动驾驶仪系统可以使汽车在车道上行驶，变换车道，根据附近的交通加速或减速 。该公司警告司机，即使开启自动驾驶仪，司机也应准备掌控汽车 。
“很难理解为何加州车辆管理局不要求特斯拉办理自驾许可证而要求优步必须办理 。”Levandowski写道 。“我们要求车辆管理局解释这之间的技术差异，目前尚未收到回复 。
优步方面和加州政府尚未就此达成一致 。周三，加州车辆管理局表示，吊销了优步位于旧金山的16辆自动驾驶汽车牌照 。所有上路的美国车辆都需进行登记 。
9月，优步首次获批在宾夕法尼亚州匹兹堡市测试自动驾驶汽车 。优步开始进行车辆测试，让人们体验自动驾驶技术 。
对于加州车辆管理局叫停优步自动驾驶汽车一事，旧金山市长Ed Lee表示支持 。他说自己虽然支持自动驾驶的开发和测试工作 。“但需要保证民众、骑自行车人以及行人的安全 。”
目前，旧金山出现几起优步自动驾驶汽车不安全事件报告 。多数目击者称看到优步自动驾驶汽车闯红灯 。
网上的视频显示，一辆优步自动驾驶汽车闯红灯 。另一位网友贴照片为证，指责一辆自驾汽车看到红灯后并没有停车 。
优步宣布将把自动驾驶汽车送往临近的亚利桑那州进行新一轮测试 。亚利桑那州州长Doug Ducey表示，亚利桑那州会“敞开怀抱”，用“畅通的道路”迎接自动驾驶汽车 。