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Self-driving Cars Ditch California for Innovation-Friendly Arizona

Image: Self-driving Cars Ditch California for Innovation-Friendly Arizona

A Waymo driverless car is shown during a Google event in San Francisco, Calif., back on Dec. 13, 2016. (Eric Risberg/AP)

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Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 11:42 AM Current | Bio | Archive

It’s getting pretty bad when even the robots are fleeing California’s anti-business climate.

The Mercury News reports that Uber had a one word answer when California regulators decided to ban its semi-self-driving car testing program, "Goodbye."

Uber pulled up stakes and headed for Arizona.

With Uber in particular one would think California would be overjoyed to allow it to test self-driving autos. Even if a robot hits the WD-40 a little heavy there is no chance of overcharging passengers, sexual assault, or other bad publicity associated in the past with some human Uber drivers.

Plus, Uber won’t be taking out ads to embarrass politicians like it did in New York or fight fingerprinting and other more stringent background checks.

With robots you only have to make sure President Trump is informed it was built in the U.S. and it’s good to drive.

But just like a scorpion has to sting, a regulator has to regulate, so Uber was hit with a requirement that it apply for a $150 permit to test its pilot program on California roads.

It is quite possible Uber was offended by the charge and felt California should pay it to risk its expensive test-cars on the state's shoddy roads.

In Los Angeles, the test of a semi-autonomous prototype made by Volvo had to be aborted because the lane striping on the roads was so bad the sensors couldn’t tell where the lane was.

As Lex Kerssemakers, a Volvo senior vice president, commented as he departed in his human chauffeured limo, "It can't find the lane markings! You need to paint the bloody roads here!"

You can read about the entire fiasco by clicking here.

Uber also felt the charge and the regulatory crackdown was out of line since the cars aren’t fully self-driving. Each test car contains a human driver ready to take control if needed, much like a parent in a car with a teenager.

So the day after the rule hit, the test cars were in Arizona where Gov. Doug Ducey is evidently trying to replace former Texas Gov. at the top of the most hated business poacher list.

Ducey tweeted, "This is what over-regulation looks like! #ditchcalifornia."

Uber joins Waymo, which is already in Arizona testing its version of the autonomous car and Ducey hopes it isn’t the last. He explained, "We hope this cooperation and common-sense approach, combined with this state’s favorable climate, encourage even more companies to test autonomous vehicles in Arizona."

Cooperation and common sense. Those are words you don’t hear very often in California regulatory offices. Maybe someone can plug the terms into Google Translate so regulators can understand before all business flees the state.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

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It’s pretty bad when even the robots are fleeing California’s anti-business climate. Like a scorpion has to sting, a regulator has to regulate, so Uber said goodbye when California regulators banned its semi-self-driving car testing program. The startup pulled up stakes, heading for Arizona.
calif., regulatory, uber, waymo
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2017-42-21
Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 11:42 AM
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