Uber to stop developing self-driving trucks

Uber to stop developing self-driving trucks

Uber's self-driving truck effort began in 2016 when the company bought Otto, a startup that was co-founded by a former Google employee named Anthony Levandowski. In the internal memo sent to employees, the company explained that it would instead double down on its self-driving auto efforts.

Uber is shutting down its self-driving trucks program.

The head of Uber's Advanced Technologies Group, Eric Meyhofer, said: "We recently took the important step of returning to public roads in Pittsburgh, and as we look to continue". But along with that came trouble: in February 2017, Alphabet's Waymo - the self-driving vehicle firm spun off from Google - sued Uber for stealing trade secrets, accusing Levandowski of stealing 14,000 "highly confidential" files before leaving the firm. "But we believe delivering on self-driving for passenger applications first, and then bringing it to freight applications down the line, is the best path forward", the executive further said.

The purchase netted Uber the talent of Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski, the engineer who built Google's very first self-driving vehicle.

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Uber said it will move employees working on self-driving trucks to other internal roles within autonomous vehicle development. The acquisition caused some trouble for Uber after Google parent-company Alphabet claimed that Otto was a shell company meant to deliver stolen technology by former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski who had worked on Google's own self-driving auto project, Waymo.

The division boasted some ambitious goals concerning the future of trucking.

The trucking industry is primed for early adoption of autonomous technology, but Uber has decided that it doesn't need to immediately develop self-driving trucks to remain competitive in the freight logistics area, the company said to ZDNet.

However, Uber's autonomous trucking dream was ill received.

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