On Monday, Uber announced that it is going to stop developing self-driving trucks, which have been responsible for carrying cargo through the U.S. highways for so long. The world’s leading transportation network company said that it aims to direct all its autonomous-vehicle technology capabilities entirely to cars.
In 2016, with the acquisition of Otto, Uber intervened in the freight-hauling business by producing self-driving trucks and Uber Freight, the smartphone app for connecting truck drivers and shippers. But according to the company, this app is to stay untouched by the new decision.
Since, compared to busy streets with heavy traffic, highways are relatively easily navigable and easier to drive on, the Uber self-driving technology had been ideal for trucking.
Uber had hinted us on its future plans to combine manual trucking with self-driving trucks, where the former would be set up for short distances while the latter for the longer ones.
We believe having our entire team’s energy and expertise focused on (self-driving cars) is the best path forward. – Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber Advanced Technologies Group in an email
For now, Uber will employ people earlier working on self-driving trucks to internal jobs within its autonomous vehicle department.