In 2016, Uber acquired autonomous trucking start-up Otto, headed by former Google engineer Anthony Lewandowski. When Google first tested its self-driving car on public roads a decade ago, Mr. Lewandowski and Mr. Ursamon, who played a key role in Google’s original self-driving car project before co-founding Aurora, the project The two chiefs were engineers. The test was a milestone that eventually led to an investment frenzy.
Acquisition, which Otto valued at $ 680 million, Went sour when Waymo filed a lawsuit against Uber in early 2017, claiming that Mr. Lewandowski had stolen trade secrets from Google. Uber Mr. Lewandowski fired, And although the case went to trial, the companies eventually Settled. Uber agreed to give Google a $ 72 million stake in the company.
Federal prosecutors charged Mr. Lewandowski with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets from Google. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison earlier this year.
A woman died in Tempe, Ariz. In March 2018 Ultimately attributed to driver error and other safety deficiencies – was a serious turning point for Uber and other self-driving car projects. Uber and other companies Suspended their road test. Even after the trials resumed, new investments slowed down. When Uber finally returned their cars to the road, they continued Below expectations
In 2018, Uber announced a $ 500 million investment To help Toyota maintain a self-driving unit. The investment marked a change in Uber’s strategy, indicating that the company no longer wanted to develop its own driving car, but instead wanted to plug its navigation technology into a vehicle made by a traditional manufacturer.
A year later, Toyota added to its investment, partnering with Denso and SoftBank Vision Fund to invest $ 1 billion in Uber’s self-driving effort. The deal was valued at Uber’s ATG $ 7.25 billion. The cash infusion bought ATG some time, but its long-term future at Uber remained unclear. The unit was expensive to operate, although Uber kept it profitable until 2021.
In 2019, when A. Well-known start-ups sold themselves to Apple, The nascent autonomous vehicle industry began to strengthen.