Uber no longer sees the self-propelled truck . The taxi company will stop the development of the trucks and instead focus entirely on self-driving cars for passenger transport, according to an internal communication that was seen by TechCrunch .
Two years ago, Uber took over Otto’s start-up and continued with the development of self-driving trucks. Ex-Googler Anthony Levandowsky was also with Otto, who was then in the news because Google’s Waymo accused him of having taken trade secrets with a lawsuit as a result, which became suitable at the beginning of this year.
Back to one team
The team that worked on self-driving trucks was in San Francisco, while the rest of the self-driving team is in Pittsburgh. The employees who now risk losing their jobs have been given the opportunity to move to Pittsburgh at a similar position, but Uber is going to lose self-driving talent in this loss.
According to email to the employees of Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber Advanced Technologies Group, it is important to take steps now with self-driving cars. “instead of two groups that work alongside each other, I would like us to work together as one team … I believe that if we can supply self-driving technology for passengers, we can develop the freight applications from there.”
Hopefully for Uber that strategy will work and they will not be outdone by Waymo or even Tesla, if they ever managed to produce the electric truck . Then adding the self-driving software might not be such a big step anymore, in any case if that development continues towards autonomous level 4 or 5.