Bad news if you had high hopes of placing your life at the mercy of a 40-ton truck being driven at high speeds by a robot: Uber is canning its self-driving trucks program.
As Tech Crunch is reporting, the company made the announcement in a statement on Monday, stating that they would be dropping the program to focus instead on just regular old self-driving cars:
We recently took the important step of returning to public roads in Pittsburgh, and as we look to continue that momentum, we believe having our entire team’s energy and expertise focused on this effort is the best path forward.
The self-driving trucks team has been based in San Francisco, while the self-driving passenger cars team operates out of Pittsburgh.
In an email sent to employees seen by Tech Crunch, the head of Uber Advanced Technologies Group, Eric Meyhofer, said roughly the same thing but in less PR-y sounding language:
Rather than having two groups working side by side, focused on different vehicle platforms, I want us instead collaborating as one team. 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.
RIP, robot trucks.Image: Getty Images / Adam Berry