Uber kills the engine on its self-driving truck project to focus on autonomous cars

Uber puts the brakes on their self-driving truck unit, 6 months after putting an end to their year-long trade secrets dispute with Waymo.

August 1, 2018

This week, Uber announced that it will close the doors on its self-driving truck unit, a program built on their $680m acquisition of autonomous truck startup Otto just 2 years ago.

The decision comes 6 months after it settled a lawsuit from Waymo, the Google spinoff that accused Uber of using its proprietary designs.

After all that??

Yep. Shortly after developing the program in 2016, Uber received mass media attention for moving one of their self-driving trucks 120 miles with a trailer stocked full of 51k cans of Budweiser.

But, 9 months later, Waymo filed a suit accusing Otto’s founder, ex-Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski, of stealing more than 14k confidential files related to Waymo’s self-driving technology.

Uber fired Levandowski as their head of self-driving research, and eventually reached a $245m settlement with Waymo.

Now they’re back to focusing on cars

Uber’s not completely writing off self-driving trucks in the future, but for now, the company will double down on their OG self-driving car department.

Uber says it will reassign employees in the self-driving truck division, many of whom will be relocated from San Francisco to Pittsburgh, their self-driving car HQ.

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