Uber will stop developing self-driving trucks that have been hauling cargo on U.S. highways, the ride-hailing company said on Monday, seeking to focus its autonomous-vehicle technology solely on cars. Through its acquisition of Otto in 2016, Uber had sought to disrupt freight hauling with self-driving trucks and Uber Freight, its smartphone app that connects truck drivers and shippers.
Uber Freight, which has seen “rapid” growth, is unaffected by the decision, the company said. Trucking has been viewed by transportation experts as a natural application for self-driving technology because of the relative predictability of highways compared with busy city streets.
Uber had unveiled plans earlier this year to integrate manual trucking with self-driving trucks by deploying the former for short hauls and the latter for longer distances. Uber said it will move employees working on self-driving trucks to other internal roles within autonomous vehicle development.