When Uber acquired Otto for $680 million almost two years ago, analysts thought they were on the verge of taking over the trucking industry. They appeared to be heavily invested in the development of self-driving trucks.
A few months later, the company released a video of a self-driving truck that drove over 100 miles through Colorado carrying Budweiser beer.
Today, Uber announced they will be shutting down their self-driving trucks division.
Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber Advanced Technologies Group, said in an emailed statement:
“We recently took the important step of returning to public roads in Pittsburgh, and as we look to continue that momentum, we believe having our entire team’s energy and expertise focused on this effort is the best path forward."
Uber Freight is claimed to not be affected by the company's decision. The division will continue to focus on connecting truckers with shipping companies. However, many analysts believe that Uber Freight is struggling due to the driver shortage, and wonder how long it can survive.
The self-driving trucks division is based out of San Francisco. The employees will be offered relocation packages into Uber's self-driving cars division, which is located in Pittsburgh.
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