Uber recently decided to shut down its self-driving trucks unit with the aim to refocus primarily on the self-driving efforts of cars. Uber Freight, a business unit that helps truck drivers connect with the demand of shipping companies, remains unaffected.
Uber started developing self-driving trucks in August 2016 after the controversial acquisition of the start-up Otto which was plagued by lawsuits revolving around trade secrets. Eric Meyhofer, Head of Uber Advanced Technologies Group, stated ; "We believe having our entire team's energy and expertise focused on this effort is the best path forward,"
The decision seems to be well considered as the self-driving car programme had quite some problems in the recent past with a tragic fatal accident last March. Meyhofer informed his team; “I know we’re all super proud of what the Trucks team has accomplished, and we continue to see the incredible promise of self-driving technology applied to moving freight across the country. But we believe delivering on self-driving for passenger applications first, and then bringing it to freight applications down the line, is the best path forward. For now, we need the focus of one team, with one clear objective.”
After suspending the self-driving vehicle programme for more than 4 months, Uber has resumed testing in Pittsburgh with drivers in full control of the cars.
Photo by Uber