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Arizona Welcomes Uber Self-Driving Program After It Ditches California

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A day after California forced Uber to halt the rollout of autonomous vehicles in the state, Arizona's governor rolled out the welcome mat for the pilot program.

In a statement, Gov. Doug Ducey said Uber's decision to move its self-driving cars to Arizona was due to California's burdensome regulations.

"Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads. While California puts the brakes on innovation and change with more bureaucracy and more regulation, Arizona is paving the way for new technology and new businesses," said Gov. Ducey. 

"California may not want you, but we do," he added.

On Wednesday, the California Department of Motor Vehicles said it would revoke the registration of 16 self-driving cars from Uber after determinig the registrations were improperly issued for autonomous vehicles.

Uber said it disagreed with the state's definition of autonomous vehicles, since its cars required a person behind the wheel to monitor and intervene if needed. Nevertheless the ride-hailing company announced Wednesday it would halt the program after meeting with state officials earlier in the day.

On Thursday, Uber announced it would resume its self-driving car program in Arizona, saying in a statement it would expand the program there and "we're excited to have the support of Governor Ducey.

The governor's Twitter feed reflected the excitement while getting in a dig against the Golden State, at one point tweeting the hashtags #ditchcalifornia and #AZmeansBIZ.

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