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Uber will not reapply for its permit to test self-driving cars in California

The company’s permit expires next week.

A smartphone showing the Uber app on its screen being tapped by a finger Zhang Peng / Getty Images

Uber has decided not to reapply to test its self-driving technology on public roads in California in the wake of a fatal crash involving one of its vehicles in Arizona.

Which means that Uber, which has been testing more than 20 cars in California, will no longer be able to operate its autonomous vehicles on public roads in the state after next week, when the existing permit expires. The company had already stopped testing all its self-driving vehicles after the Arizona crash. Uber said it does not know when it will reapply to test its cars in California.

“We proactively suspended our self-driving operations, including in California, immediately following the Tempe incident,” Uber spokesperson Sarah Abboud said in a statement. “Given this, we decided not to reapply for California DMV permit with the understanding that our self-driving vehicles would not operate on public roads in the immediate future.”

If Uber wants to renew the permit, it will have to address the results from the ongoing investigation into the crash in Arizona, California Department of Motor Vehicles deputy director Brian Soublet wrote in a letter to Uber.

The ride-hail company’s relationship with the state’s DMV got off to a rocky start when Uber rolled out its autonomous cars in California without applying for the proper permits in 2016. The California DMV ultimately revoked the registration of the vehicles Uber was testing, forcing the company to ship those vehicles to Arizona.

At the time, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey welcomed Uber into the state.

However, Ducey suspended Uber’s self-driving operations in the state indefinitely as of Monday evening.

“Arizona will not tolerate any less than an unequivocal commitment to public safety,” Ducey wrote in a letter to Uber.

The governor’s office told Recode that it is waiting to see the results of the investigation into the crash before it made any further decision.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have joined Tempe, Ariz., police in investigating the cause of the crash. Based on the results of the investigation, Uber could face criminal charges. The Tempe police will submit their findings to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to determine if criminal charges are warranted.

The ride-hail company says it is cooperating with the investigation.

Here’s the California DMV’s letter to Uber:

This article originally appeared on

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