Uber has recently launched their self-driving cars in San Francisco, California. Unfortunately, local authorities almost immediately put an end to the new service, as they said the company doesn't have the legal permits necessary to operate autonomous vehicles in their state.

This is not the first time Uber has been under scrutiny by local state regulators for their business services. And apparently, Uber doesn't intend to secure the needed permit. They said that they have not broken any laws-California's DMV requirements do not fall under their service category, and as such, it's not necessary to obtain those permits.

California DMV clearly defines an autonomous vehicle as those that drive on public roads "without the active physical control or monitoring of a natural person." But since Uber explained that their self-driving technology requires a person in the driver's seat for control, they felt the said permits weren't applicable to their case.

This has been clearly pointed out by Anthony Levandowski, Uber's leader in autonomous car programs. "Our technology is not autonomous technology," he said. "I don't want to speculate why other companies have gotten the permits. Maybe they have other plans down the road."

Uber first introduced their new driverless service in Pittsburgh last December. They originally planned to test their services on more routes and driving conditions in San Francisco, to make sure all areas of concern are problem-free.

Mr. Levandowski was particularly excited about this huge service turnout. He said, "We drove in the rain and other kinds of weather, and we've added lane-changing capabilities since we started in September. Now we want to see how we operate in this new environment, especially with the giant hills that San Francisco has to offer."

But apparently, a CCTV camera caught one of Uber's autonomous vehicles, a Volvo XC90 running a red light in San Francisco, one of the reasons state regulators ordered Uber to stop their operation of self-driving cars in the state.

In their defense, Uber said in a statement that the said vehicle was not under the program's pilot and it was clearly the fault of an Uber driver who's now suspended and pending further investigation. They also noted that the car was not carrying customers at the time.

The California DMV has already sent a letter addressed to Mr. Levandowski. However, Uber hasn't made any recent comments about the subject.