Ride service Uber Technologies Inc is at the height of growth given its latest acquisition of Otto, a self-driving trucks startup. As the market embraces the self-driving concept, the company has gone ahead to form a $300 million worth alliance with Volvo Car Group which will enhance the development of the project. Anthony Levandowski, the company’s co-founder, a former Googler and who for many years has been establishing the autonomous driving concept will take up the leadership of Uber’s entire self-driving division.
On the face of it, Uber is raring to realize its ambitious plans. It may not have any experience in making cars a fact that CEO, Travis Kalanick acknowledges. Nonetheless, the partnership will come in handy in accomplishing the mission. The latest is heightened activity of Uber’s public pilot program that is slated to begin later in the month in Pittsburgh which will involve the picking off real passengers by autonomous vehicles.
The purchase of Otto. What it means to Uber
Otto is a start-up company with less than 100 employees. It has been in operation for less than a year. Its initial goal was to turn commercial trucks into self-driving freight haulers, a platform that Uber is likely to explore even though it is still unclear whether it is positioning itself for competition with package delivery firms the likes of UPS and FedEx.
But with all this uncertainty, Kalanick says that the self-driving technology will be spread across three sectors: personal transportation, delivery, and trucking, He has also pre-empted the building safety criticisms of citing that the use of self-driving technology will ease traffic accidents which are very rampant in the US.
The highs of the self-driving technology
There is serious exploration and advancement of the self-driving technology, and it’s no wonder that Uber has gone ahead to position itself for expansion. Various automakers particularly the large ones are now forming associations with carpooling firms so as to maximize on the ride-hailing service.