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Uber’s autonomous truck venture Otto under inspection in Calif. for testing on public roads

California says Uber and its subsidiary Otto could have violated state laws by testing its vehicles on public highways.

Uber’s autonomous truck unit in San Francisco will be inspected by California regulators over concerns that the company may have been breaking the law by testing its autonomous trucks on public highways.

The Department of Motor Vehicles and California Highway Patrol will be taking a closer look at Uber’s self-driving technology and meet with company officials to determine if its truck has been used in autonomous mode on public roads.

The inspection was prompted by the publication of an internal Otto document in which the company refers to testing its self-driving trucks on a daily basis around San Francisco, according to Forbes. (Otto was acquired by Uber last year.) This contradicts what Uber told California officials in February.

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Other Otto information made public include testing procedures on autonomous driving prepared for officials in Colorado. The information varies from what Uber presented to California officials.

“Based on DMV’s meeting with the company earlier this year, they conveyed that the technology operating on California roads is not autonomous. This meeting will be a follow-up to that,” DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez told Forbes.

Trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds cannot operate autonomously on public roads in California.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon to CCJ’s sister publiciation Hard Working Trucks, Uber reported that it met with state agencies in February and “any misunderstandings were cleared up.”

The company further stated that it welcomes the visit from the DMV and CHP.

“We have an open invitation to policymakers to visit Uber ATG anytime. We have hosted policymakers from across the country as well as federal lawmakers at our facilities. And we look forward to hosting DMV and CHP when they decide to accept our invitation.”

Note: This story was updated today with comments from Uber. 

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Tom Quimby is the associate editor for Hard Working Trucks. Reach him at tomquimby@randallreilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @tom_quimby.