• 08.18.16

Uber to acquire self-driving-truck startup Otto

Otto cofounder Anthony Levandowski will head up Uber‘s driverless car operation, according to Bloomberg.

Unlike most of its competitors, Otto builds autonomous trucks for navigating highways only. It will continue its  robotic truck business after joining Uber, which has focused on building software for autonomous vehicles.

As Bloomberg explains the strategy of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick:

Uber has no intention of mass-producing its own cars, Kalanick says. Instead, the company will strike deals with auto manufacturers, starting with Volvo Cars, and will develop kits for other models. The Otto deal will help; the company makes its own laser detection, or lidar, system, used in many self-driving cars. Kalanick believes that Uber can use the data collected from its app, where human drivers and riders are logging roughly 100 million miles per day, to quickly improve its self-driving mapping and navigation systems. “Nobody has set up software that can reliably drive a car safely without a human,” Kalanick says. “We are focusing on that.”