Latest in Gear

Image credit:

Uber shows off its upgraded fleet of autonomous trucks

With a LIDAR array that won't annoy the folks at Google.
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Uber

Uber's interest in self-driving vehicles doesn't begin or end at taxis, which is why it's developing a platform for autonomous trucks, too. A year on from the company's, er, controversial purchase of Otto, and Uber has unveiled its second-generation big rig with a wholly upgraded set of sensors. Including an entirely new, 64-channel LIDAR array that, according to TechCrunch, was purchased off the shelf, from Velodyne.

If you're unfamiliar, Anthony Levandowski led Google's self-driving car unit, Waymo, until leaving to found his own startup, Otto. That company was designed to build an autonomous truck, explaining that there was a clearer business case for an autopilot for long, relatively uneventful, highway journeys. Uber subsequently purchased Otto a few months later, which raised eyebrows across the globe as to what was going on.

According to Google, the whole deal was a scam, accusing Levandowski of appropriating Google's trade secrets and using Otto as a vehicle to smuggle the tech to Uber, a charge it denies. Even worse, the prodigious engineer stands accused of appropriating 14,000 confidential Google documents before leaving his former employer. The lawsuit rages on, with Uber being forced to let Levandowski go -- although the rest of Otto's employees are now part of Uber's advanced technologies group.

According to Uber's Alden Woodrow, it wasn't the scuffle between Uber and Google that prompted the switch to Velodyne's sensors. The new sensor, however, will enable the new trucks to make better decisions about its local environment and how to proceed. The vehicles are currently being tested in San Francisco and its surrounding environs, so if you're curious to see the future of trucking, you can head there and hope one passes you by.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The first big 'Cyberpunk 2077' patch has arrived

The first big 'Cyberpunk 2077' patch has arrived

View
Put Bernie Sanders almost anywhere with this Google Street View app

Put Bernie Sanders almost anywhere with this Google Street View app

View
The Morning After: The Galaxy S21 reviews are in

The Morning After: The Galaxy S21 reviews are in

View
President Biden appoints 'world-class' cybersecurity team in wake of hacks

President Biden appoints 'world-class' cybersecurity team in wake of hacks

View
Microsoft increases Xbox Live Gold prices for new members

Microsoft increases Xbox Live Gold prices for new members

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr