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Uber self-driving cars are coming back to California

An Uber self-driving car heads out for a test drive in December.
(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Uber’s self-driving cars will return to California’s streets. But the company doesn’t plan to pick up passengers in them, at least for now.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles said Wednesday that it has granted Uber permission to run two Volvo SUVs on public roads.

Agency spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said the DMV also approved 48 people as backup drivers who must sit behind the wheel in case the prototype cars malfunction.

The permits resolve a conflict dating to December, when Uber rolled out a self-driving car service in San Francisco without the approval of state regulators.

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After a several-days showdown, the San Francisco company packed up its self-driving cars and took them to Arizona.

Uber said in a statement that it does not plan to pick up paying passengers in California for now.

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