Uber has said that it will stop development of self-driving trucks to direct more resources towards self-driving cars.
Uber had acquired startup Otto in 2016 that was engaged in the development of self-driving technology for trucks and Uber had got to the point where it had begun testing self-driving trucks in March this year as part of its Uber Freight service. Uber had also developed an app called Uber Freight that serves to connect truck drivers and shippers. This app will not be affected by Uber’s decision to stop working on the development of self-driving trucks.
Uber has made this decision in the leadup to restarting the testing of its self-driving cars. The company’s development program had experienced a setback when one of its cars was engaged in a fatal accident in which a woman crossing the road was killed. The company has started testing its self-driving cars again in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Uber Advanced Technologies Group is based.
In an interview to USA Today, Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber Advanced Technologies Group said that the company has taken an important step by returning for testing to the public roads in Pittsburgh. Its goal now is to continue that momentum by focusing all the efforts and expertise of its team towards the development of self-driving cars.
The accident and its fallout means that Uber will now have to strive hard to catch up with its competitors. Waymo has already started conducting public trials and is slated to start a commercial service for self-driving cars in Phoenix, Arizona this year. Other companies like Drive.ai and nuTonomy have also started public trials.
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