Travis Kalanick shares news of Uber Freight, but behind the scenes his plans to reinvent trucking tech seem to have flagged.
Credit: Otto U ber 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 […]