The Latest: California threatens to bring Uber before judge

AP News
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Posted: Dec 16, 2016 8:20 PM
The Latest: California threatens to bring Uber before judge

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on Uber's showdown with California regulators over self-driving cars in San Francisco (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

California prosecutors are threatening to haul Uber before a judge if the ride-hailing company doesn't immediately stop picking up San Francisco passengers in self-driving cars.

Attorneys with the state's Department of Justice made the threat in a letter Friday afternoon, a few hours after Uber promised to continue the pilot program it launched Wednesday.

Since then, a handful of Volvo SUVs tricked out with a suite of sensors that let the cars steer, brake and accelerate have been plying the streets.

Uber's Anthony Levandowski told reporters earlier Friday that he disagrees with the state's demand that Uber must get a special testing permit because the cars aren't subject to California's self-driving regulations.

Levandowski says Uber doesn't need a permit because a backup driver is behind the wheel monitoring the car.

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4 p.m.

The leader of Uber's self-driving car program says the ride-hailing service he launched this week in San Francisco will continue despite regulators' objections.

California transportation officials have demanded that Uber stop picking up passengers in a handful of Volvo SUVs tricked out with a suite of sensors that let the cars steer, brake and accelerate.

Uber's Anthony Levandowski told reporters Friday that he disagrees with the state's demand to suspend operations until it gets a special permit because the cars aren't subject to California's self-driving regulations.

Levandowski says Uber doesn't need a permit because a backup driver is behind the wheel monitoring the car. He says that means the Volvos aren't "autonomous vehicles" under state law.

The state has threatened legal action. Officials didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.