Uber self-driving cars arrive in Arizona with Tempe debut

The Republic |
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In this Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, an Uber driverless car is displayed in a garage in San Francisco.

Uber has released self-driving cars in the Phoenix area.

Uber users in Tempe now have the option to use a self-driving car or stick with the old-school way of using the service. Uber said requesting a self-driving vehicle can be done through the app. Just request an uberX and the self-driving vehicle will arrive if available.

Users also can opt out of the self-driving service by canceling and going with a driver instead. Uber said the self-driving rides will have a human behind the wheel to "ensure a smooth ride." Up to three people can take the new service and Uber said the prices remain the same as uberX.

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The use of self-driving cars in Arizona comes after California revoked the registrations for 16 self-driving Volvos operated by Uber. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey promised less oversight. He even took part in a ride on Tuesday.

The Arizona Department of Transportation previously issued a statement reiterating that the state has no special requirements for self-driving vehicles.

"Part of what makes Arizona an ideal place for Uber and other companies to test autonomous vehicle technology is that there are no special permits or licensing required," it said. "In Arizona, autonomous vehicles have the same registration requirements as any other vehicle, and nothing in state law prevents testing autonomous vehicles."

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