Uber shuts down its self-driving truck unit

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Here's how Uber's self-driving trucks make deliveries

Uber is shutting down its self-driving vehicles unit.

The corporate mentioned Monday that it has determined to refocus its self-driving efforts on automobiles solely.

“We imagine having our whole group’s vitality and experience targeted on this effort is the very best path ahead,” mentioned Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber Superior Applied sciences Group, the division that oversaw self-driving truck improvement.

Uber declined to say what number of workers will probably be affected, but it surely mentioned it notified staff on Monday and plans to assign them to different related groups. One other a part of the division, a freight program that gives conventional truck drivers a method to discover gigs, will not be affected by the closure.

Uber started testing self-driving vehicles shortly after it acquired the autonomous trucking startup Otto in August 2016. Truck testing happened in California, Arizona and on an Uber check observe in Pittsburgh.

Associated: Uber takes one other step to extend the security of its self-driving automobiles

But it surely’s been a making an attempt 12 months for the corporate’s self-driving efforts.

The Otto acquisition landed Uber in a heated authorized battle with Google over autonomous car know-how. The latter firm accused a former Google engineer who based Otto of stealing commerce secrets and techniques. The case was abruptly settled in February.

Uber has additionally had issues with its self-driving automotive program. In March, one among its self-driving Volvos caught and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. That case drew widespread scrutiny of the venture — police have mentioned the one who was within the driver’s seat was seemingly streaming a actuality TV present when the crash occurred.

After that incident, Uber halted its whole self-driving car program. It later mentioned it will not return to Arizona. Solely final week did Uber resume testing in Pittsburgh, with drivers in full management of the automobiles.

Uber has additionally taken steps to enhance security and effectivity inside the program. It fired 100 individuals who sat behind the wheel of the self-driving automobiles, and mentioned it will substitute them with individuals who have extra technical expertise.

The corporate additionally not too long ago employed former Nationwide Transportation Security Board chairman Christopher Hart as an adviser.

CNNMoney (New York) First revealed July 30, 2018: 7:00 PM ET

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