Uber Says it Will Stay in Self-Driving Market After Abandoning Driverless Truck Program
USA- Govtech.com reports that Uber will be discontinuing its self-driving truck program, Otto. In 2016, Uber acquired Otto for $680 million. While the name “Otto” was retired, the technology and workers were folded into Uber.*
Uber has now decided to cease working on driverless trucks. Uber Freight, which connects drivers and trucking companies, will not be impacted by the company’s decision and will continue to function. Uber also states that it will not be abandoning its driverless car efforts. Eric Meyhofer, who leads the Advanced Technologies Group within Uber, stated that the company plans to push forward with its driverless passenger vehicles. Meyhofer pointed out that the driverless cars are on Pittsburgh roads again after the company suspended its public road testing of driverless vehicles because of a deadly pedestrian incident that occurred in Arizona earlier in the year. Uber’s driverless vehicles came under scrutiny after one of its vehicles struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona. The vehicle’s human driving assistant who was in the front seat of the vehicle at the time of the accident did nothing to stop the collision.
The driverless truck program was the subject of a lawsuit between Uber and Alphabet, the company that owns Google. Alphabet sued Uber claiming that the acquisition of Otto was nothing more than a way to steal trade secrets connected to Alphabet’s driverless car program, Waymo. The lawsuit settled in February 2018.
The Uber employees who had been working on the driverless trucks will have the option of working on other driverless technology projects within the company.
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