Licensed Uber drivers in Madrid will be using a Tesla Model S for taxi service. Uber’s services were banned by the local government until March for its use of unlicensed drivers. With this greener move, Uber is hoping to improve its image in the city, which is facing a lot of pollution.
Using Tesla to mend its image
Several measures have been taken by the city to tackle the growing pollution and limiting the use of cars. Some suggestions are imposing upper limits on drivers’ speeds on certain roadsand charging fines to people who travel through Madrid’s center but don’t live there, notes The Verge.
In 2014, a judge banned Uber from the city after it ruled that it used amateur drivers. This was seen as unfair to existing taxi services. It was allowed to return in March, but according to the company, it is not allowed to expand much, notes The Verge.
Uber’s Carles Lloret told Reuters that introducing Tesla EVs will help the company encourage a more generous approach from Madrid’s local government.
“We want to do things that are in line with what the town hall wants. We would love to see more licenses awarded in the future, perhaps for greener cars so there could be more in circulation,” Lloret said.
Uber attempted to introduce electric vehicles earlier this year when it started trials of all-electric cars in Portugal and London. The company said that it was willing to help tackle air pollution in the U.K.’s capital but needed greater infrastructure support in the form of chargers so as to roll out more all-electric vehicles.
Uber pulls self-driving cars from California roads
Uber, however, is facing another problem back home. On Wednesday, the ride-hailing company pulled its self-driving cars from California roads after state regulators moved to cancel their registrations. This move comes a week after talks between the ride-hailing company and state regulators failed.
On Wednesday, Uber launched service in its hometown of San Francisco, but a few hours later, it received a threat of legal action from the DMV if it didn’t stop. Regulators argued that the cars need the same special permit as the 20 other companies testing self-driving technology in California.
Uber argues that its cars are not sophisticated enough to continuously drive themselves, and hence, it must be noted that the company does not promote them as “self-driving.”