Uber has been for a while trying to get their hands onto self driving technology. Early 2015 we saw Uber was working on self driving cars and began testing in Pittsburgh though we haven’t seen much since then. That is until it bought out Otto.
Otto has been developing self driving technology that can be added in to vehicles that do not have the technology. Otto doesn’t make the vehicles, currently it has been working on technology, lidar sensors, that could be fitted on to trucks. Now that the company has been bought out by Uber, the technology can be implemented into the Uber fleet and Uber won’t have to reluctantly make the vehicles. In addition Uber also bought the team behind Otto.
Otto’s team come from big companies such as Tesla, Apple, and Google. Most notably Anthony Levandowski, who worked for Google’s self driving cars during the early stages and Lior Ron, who was the head of the Google Maps.
The acquisition is set to close soon, within a months time, and is worth 1 percent of Uber’s valuation, $618 million. Otto announced the deal earlier today. In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Travis Kalanick revealed that the company is preparing to add self-driving cars to its fleet of active drivers in Pittsburgh as soon as this month.