July 22, 2017

As Uber’s legal battle with Waymo rages on, its self-driving trucks are nowhere to be found

Uber OTTO autonomous driving truck
By Steve Jurvetson [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick unveiled the company’s first Uber Freight vehicle yesterday in Pittsburgh. In a tweet, he showed off the first step in his company’s plan to connect shippers with truckers, extending its ride-sharing model to cargo.

On the surface this news seems to boost Uber’s ambitions to take over, and eventually automate, not just human transport but also freight and logistics. After all, who could forget the tiny, less-than-a-year-old self-driving truck startup it acquired for an extraordinary $680 million last summer, which is now at the center of its legal imbroglio with Google?

But an investigation into the events that followed the acquisition of that startup, Otto, suggests that Uber’s work on self-driving trucks is in fact flagging. At a hearing in the US District Court in San Francisco last Wednesday, Waymo accused former employee Anthony Levandowski and Uber of using Otto as a shell to conceal his swift move to the ride-sharing company. “Uber and Levandowski created a cover-up scheme for what they were doing,” Waymo’s lawyer told the court. “They concocted a story for public consumption.” In other words, Uber wasn’t particularly interested in trucking — it was far more invested in the procurement of its […]

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The News for the Gig Economy Staff is constantly searching the web for the latest news regarding freelancing and gig platforms to bring them to you in one handy place. All articles with this generic author have been sourced with the original location at the bottom of the piece. We encourage our readers to view the original source of all excerpts. NGE is a project of ARC Online, LLC.

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