×

The ride-hailing service has refused to get a $150 permit to test autonomous vehicles in the state.

Uber is reportedly scheduled to meet with California's Department of Motor Vehicles and Attorney General office after the company refused to apply for a permit to operate autonomous vehicles in the state.

The meeting, reported by the San Francisco Business Times and TechCrunch, will presumably involve talks aimed at deescalating the situation and avoiding formal litigation or enforcement actions.

After months of apparently smooth testing in Pittsburgh, Uber's fleet of autonomous prototypes immediately sparked controversy after arriving in Pittsburgh. Cars have been spotted driving through red lights and violating bike-lane rules.

California's current permit program appears aimed at gathering data on the safety of autonomous technology while it is under development. Companies only have to pay $150 for the permits, but they must report every accident and instances of 'disengagement' when a human driver disables the system and takes manual control of the vehicle.

The regulations are said require permits specifically for vehicles that are "equipped with technology that has the capability of operating or driving the vehicle without the active physical control or monitoring of a natural person." Focusing on semantics, Uber argues that its cars are not yet fully capable of operating without a human behind the wheel and, consequently, are currently exempt from the permitting requirement.

California officials threatened to seek an injunction to force Uber to idle its fleet if it did not apply for permits. It is unclear if the meeting will inspire such action, or if Uber is confident that its legal interpretation of the laws will hold up if the debacle heads to the courts.