When the world is moving towards automation, it might not be totally safe in some departments to continue to do so. Uber understood this and are shutting down their self-driving trucks unit. Around 2 years ago, Uber acquired Otto in a multi-million deal. The acquisition of the startup for $680 million allowed Uber to use their aftermarket kits on trucks to work autonomously. Along with that, Uber took the co-founder of Otto – Anthony Levandowski. Anthony was responsible for making the Google’s first self-driving car. But, the deal led Uber in trouble and legal actions from Google. Anthony was accused of stealing 14,000 important files. The matter settled after a year this February. However, Uber doesn’t seem much interested in using the tech for trucks anymore.
Today Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group said that the development of self-driving trucks will be stopped. The focus will be shifted on to making self-driving cars. Eric Meyhofer, head of Advanced Technologies Group said that “We have taken an important step to return back on public roads. We believe that our energy and expertise should be focused on the path which is best for the future”.
Uber started the Uber Freight, a unit which connected the truck drivers with logistics companies. They launched the service back in May 2017 for the companies and the users to find truck drivers to ship their products. The Uber Freight started initially with 3 regions but now covers the whole of the US. But, Uber is going to stop the inclusion of autonomous self-driving trucks in the system. The reason for doing this was stated by Eric in a statement. He said that “Rather than having two different team focus on nearly the same objective, we want to work in developing a single core product first. The trucks team have done quite well with the technology and we hope it can be implemented well with the self-driving cars too”.
Another Uber service, Uber ATG is working on the platform to make highway driving better. The Uber ATG uses the laser technology for making a 3D map of the surrounding of the vehicle for transportation.
Uber is keenly working on the platform but it might be a distant dream. The self-driving vehicles mechanism is not quite well developed until now. Levandowski who was fired from Uber joined with Kache.ai. They were working with autonomous vehicles but had to suspend it when one of their vehicles met with an accident and killed a pedestrian.
However, Uber is working well in all the departments. Earlier this year, Dara, the CEO of Uber said that they will be launching self-driving cabs for the users by mid-2019. To achieve the target, the team has to work quite a lot in all the department most importantly the safety of the passengers. Recently, Uber brought in their Volvo XC90 self-driving car in the Pittsburgh streets. With the new laws, the car is being driven manually but is in the testing stage. If it is successful, Uber might soon be able to achieve its target of introducing self-driving cabs.