Uber shuts down self-driving truck unit

The company launched its self-driving trucks program after acquiring autonomous trucking startup Otto in August 2016

July 31, 2018
Uber self-driving trucks

Uber has announced it is shutting down its self-driving trucks unit, the company saying Monday that it has decided to refocus its self-driving efforts on cars only.

Uber said it notified the unit's workers on Monday of the change and plans to assign them to other relevant teams. Another part of the division, a freight program that offers traditional truck drivers a way to find gigs, will not be affected by the closure.

Uber began testing self-driving trucks shortly after it acquired the autonomous trucking startup Otto in August 2016. Truck testing took place in California, Arizona and on an Uber test track in Pittsburgh. The Otto acquisition landed Uber in a heated legal battle with Google over autonomous vehicle technology, a case that was abruptly settled in February.

Uber also has experienced problems with its self-driving car program. In March, one of its self-driving Volvos struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz. That case drew widespread scrutiny of the project, and police have said the person who was in the driver's seat was likely streaming a reality TV show when the crash happened. After that incident, Uber halted its entire self-driving vehicle program, and later said it would not return to Arizona. Only last week did Uber resume testing in Pittsburgh, with drivers in full control of the cars.

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Source: CNN Tech

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