Uber has announced the shut down of their self-driving semi truck sector.
The announcement was made on Monday, July 30th and says that Uber plans on refocusing its efforts on self-driving cars, reported Fox News Denver.
“We believe having our entire team’s energy and expertise focused on this effort is the best path forward,” said head of Uber Advanced Technologies Group, the division that oversaw self-driving truck development, Eric Meyhofer – supporting the decision in spite of Uber’s record-breaking “longest continuous journey by a driverless and autonomous lorry,” during which Uber’s self-driving big rig hauled Budweiser from Fort Collins, Colorado to Colorado Springs, Colorado without any help from the driver sitting behind the wheel, earning them a spot as a Guinness World Record holder.
Following the termination of the autonomous semi truck program, Uber fired 100 people originally hired to sit behind the steering wheels of autonomous passenger cars, and plans to replace them with “people who have more technical experience” after an incident with a self-driving car in Tempe, Arizona killed a pedestrian. Police say that the driver behind the wheel as a precaution was most likely streaming a TV show at the time of the fatal accident.
Employees in the self-driving truck division are to be reassigned to new jobs appropriately and many will be transferred to Pittsburgh, where Uber’s self-driving division just reopened following the pedestrian incident in March.
“I know we’re all super proud of what the Trucks team has accomplished, and we continue to see the incredible promise of self-driving technology applied to moving freight across the country. But we believe delivering on self-driving for passenger applications first, and then bringing it to freight applications down the line, is the best path forward. For now, we need the focus of one team, with one clear objective,” added Meyhofer.