Uber's autonomous trucks are finally hitting the road. The ride-hailing startup said on Tuesday that its self-driving big rigs have been ferrying cargo on highways in Arizona over the past few months. For each trip, human drivers work in tandem with the autonomous trucks. Humans pick up cargo from Uber Freight customers and drive it in trailers to transfer hubs. For each trip, human drivers work in tandem with the autonomous trucks.
Uber's self-driving truck program feels like it just took off, but after a court trial and several major leadership changes, it's been a long road to a dead-end announced Monday. Back in 2016, Uber acquired Otto -- former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski's self-driving truck startup -- and Uber's self-driving truck program was born. Then Levandowski was sued for taking trade secrets from Google and bringing them to Uber in the acquisition. That was mainly about the LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) laser and sensor technology that uses light to help the autonomous vehicles "see" the road and world around them. Levandowski was effectively fired before the whole saga turned into the lengthy Waymo (Google's autonomous vehicles team) v. Uber case, which ended in a $245 million settlement a few months ago.
Two years after Uber paid $680 million to buy the self-driving truck startup Otto, the company is folding that effort. In this photo from 2016, an Otto engineer sits behind the steering wheel of a self-driving, big-rig truck during a demonstration in San Francisco. Two years after Uber paid $680 million to buy the self-driving truck startup Otto, the company is folding that effort. In this photo from 2016, an Otto engineer sits behind the steering wheel of a self-driving, big-rig truck during a demonstration in San Francisco. Uber is shutting down its self-driving truck program, nearly six months after it settled a lawsuit from Waymo, the Google spinoff that accused Uber of using its proprietary designs.
The big apple's traffic is getting much much worse thanks to carpooling services like Uber and Lyft. Uber has been using its self-driving trucks to transport goods in Arizona. SAN FRANCISCO -- What a long, strange trip it's been for Uber's self-driving truck division. The ride-hailing company announced Monday that it was, for now, parking its effort to develop commercially viable self-driving trucks in order to focus on bringing autonomous cars to its service. "We recently took the important step of returning to public roads in Pittsburgh," Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber Advanced Technologies Group, said in a statement provided to USA TODAY.
Uber could soon eliminate the need for a smartphone as the only gateway into its service, with a whole new partnership. Uber has been using its self-driving trucks to transport goods in Arizona. SAN FRANCISCO -- Uber announced Tuesday that it has been sending self-driving trucks on delivery runs across Arizona since November, the first step in what could be a freight transportation revolution that could leave long-haul truckers in the cold. After testing its technology earlier in 2017, Uber began contracting with trucking companies to use its own autonomous Volvo big rigs to take over loads as they traverse the state. Uber did not disclose what items it is transporting for which companies.