So what went wrong with Uber and Otto? A lot. Soon after Uber acquired Otto, Alphabet filed a lawsuit against the company for allegedly stealing trade secrets from its self-driving arm, Waymo. The lawsuit was settled in February for $250 million in equity. Then, just weeks later, one of Uber’s self-driving cars struck and killed a pedestrian.
The aftermath: Uber pulled its robotic cars from the roads and is now facing a tough path ahead. By shuttering its autonomous-truck division, it hopes, it can focus more of its attention on improving its self-driving cars. “We believe having our entire team’s energy and expertise focused on this effort is the best path forward,” Eric Meyhofer, head of the Uber Advanced Technologies Group, said in an e-mailed statement to TechCrunch.
The future: Truckers shouldn’t let their guard down just because Otto has closed. While one of the major competitors has taken itself out of the race, companies like Tesla, Volvo, Peterbilt, and Daimler are still pushing forward with the technology.