Despite an ongoing legal battle with Waymo , Uber is moving ahead with development of self-driving vehicles. That includes not only self-driving cars, but also a fleet of self-driving trucks that just got a significant upgrade.
Uber is rolling out what it considers its second generation of prototype autonomous trucks, according to Engadget . The trucks feature a new suite of sensors, including a 64-channel Lidar unit from Velodyne. Uber previously used Lidar units of its own design, rather than off-the-shelf units like this one.
Uber claims the switch to the Velodyne unit simply made sense from a technical standpoint, but using a third-party component also helps Uber distance itself from accusations that it stole lidar tech from Waymo , the former Google self-driving car project. Way filed a lawsuit against Uber in February over alleged theft of intellectual property relating directly to the self-driving truck project.
The nucleus of that project was a startup called Otto co-founded by Anthony Levandowski, a former Waymo employee, and purchased by Uber in August 2016. Waymo accuses Levandowski of downloading 14,000 confidential files, and passing that information along to Uber, but the ride-sharing company denies making use of any Waymo data. Levandowski held a prominent […]