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Home / Business / About self-drive truck department is dead, long live over self-driving cars – TechCrunch

About self-drive truck department is dead, long live over self-driving cars – TechCrunch



Uber unscrews its self-propelled truck unit, a besieged program that emerged from the controversial multi-million-fold acquisition of Otto almost two years ago.

The company said Monday that the Uber Advanced Technologies Group would stop developing self-propelled trucks and instead focus its efforts on self-driving cars.

"We have recently taken the important step of returning to public roads in Pittsburgh, and we believe that we have the entire team's energy and expertise focused on these efforts are the best way forward" said Eric Meyhofer, Head of the Uber Advanced Technologies Group, via e-mail.

About Freight, a business unit that facilitates truck drivers' connection to shipping companies through this decision. Uber Freight, launched in May 201

7, has been designed for certified and licensed drivers who are able to find available cargoes available nearby and receive travel, distance and prepayment information. If the drivers like what they see, they can book.

Freight, which began in three regions, is now available throughout the continental US and is considered a viable and promising business (and income opportunity) within the company. The business unit has tripled in the past 15 months, with offices in San Francisco and Chicago.

"Instead of having two groups working side-by-side on different vehicle platforms, I would like us to work together as a team instead to an e-mail verified by TechCrunch, which was sent by Meyhofer to employees." I know, we Everyone is very proud of what the Trucks team has achieved, and we continue to see the incredible promise that self-propelled technology will be used to transport goods across the country. But we believe it is best to first use passenger travel and then bring it into freight applications. For now, we need the focus of a team with a clear goal.

Uber's self-propelled trucks are based in San Francisco, while the self-driving cars team is located in Pittsburgh, and Uber says it will focus on self-driving trucks for other jobs that are the ongoing development of self-propelled trucks If there is no comparable role, Uber will offer a relocation to Pittsburgh or a separation package to aid the transition.

ATG will continue to investigate approaches to highway driving using the car platform and will retain it's relationship with trucks The company can return to self-propelled trucks, but only after it has developed the foundation of the self-propelled system.

About ATG will continue its own development of light detection and range radar, known as LiDAR later in the center of a re The key point between Uber and Waymo is to use laser light to measure the distance to create high-precision 3D maps of the world around the car.

Uber's self-driving truck efforts have been plagued by controversy since its inception. Uber bought Otto, the self-propelled truck start-up founded by former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski and three others, including Lior Ron, who was product manager on Google Maps in August 2016, for $ 680 million. (Subsequent reports suggest that the actual payout may have been as low as $ 220 million.)

As part of the acquisition, Levandowski became head of Uber's self-driving auto research.

Two months later, the company enjoyed a moment of fame and media attention: a self-driving truck that drove 120 highway miles along a route in Colorado with a trailer full of Budweiser.

But the buzz about the size of the petrol business and its self-propelled truck In the United States of Colorado, another, less friendly, kind of attention would soon be coming to him.

Nine months after the acquisition, Uber became involved in a trade secret lawsuit involving Waymo, the former self-propelled Google project that has become a business under the alphabet. Waymo accuses Levandowski of forging a plan to use trade secrets in connection with Waymo's proprietary development of LiDAR technology and launching Otto and thus Uber's own self-propelled technology program.

The lawsuit against Otto and his parents company Uber in February 2017, alleged patent infringement and theft of trade secrets. The lawsuit raised a number of allegations against Levandowski, including the fact that he had downloaded more than 14,000 confidential and copyrighted files shortly before his resignation. Waymo claimed that Otto and Uber used important parts of their self-propelled technology, especially in relation to LiDAR.

Uber would later fire Levandowski. However, the Polarstern engineer is not yet out of the self-driving truck game. TechCrunch revealed that Levandowski was behind Kache.ai, a self-driving truck company still in camouflage mode.

The case was heard in February 2018. Before a jury could intervene, the two parties reached a settlement agreement. Uber agreed not to integrate Waymo's confidential information into its hardware and software. Uber also agreed to pay a financial compensation that includes 0.34 percent of Uber's equity for its Series G-1 approximately $ 72 billion valuation. In other words, Waymo has received around $ 244.8 million in Uber stock.

ATG has had other existential struggles in recent months. The unit has suffered several retirements. The other three Otto founders, including Don Burnette, who together with Paz Eshel, formerly of Battery Ventures, founded an autonomous vehicle company called Kodiak Robotics in April.

In March and just six weeks after Waymo's establishment, a Uber self-propelled test vehicle, was involved in a tragic fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona. Uber stopped all its autonomous vehicle operations on March 19, the day after one of its vehicles met and killed the pedestrian Elaine Herzberg in the suburbs of Phoenix. Uber tested his self-driving vehicles on public roads in Tempe, Arizona, where the accident occurred, as well as in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

Uber's decision to stop its self-propelled truck operation comes just one week after the company brought its autonomous vehicles back to the streets of Pittsburgh. For the time being, Uber's modified, self-propelled Volvo XC90 vehicles will only be driven by people and under a new set of safety standards that includes real-time monitoring of their test drivers and efforts to enhance the simulation.

This guide's initial rollout is a step toward Uber's ultimate goal to restart his autonomous vehicle testing program in Pittsburgh.


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