Uber halts driverless truck development

The firm says it wants to focus on self-driving cars instead.

Uber is stepping away from developing self-driving trucks so it can focus on work to build a self-driving car.

The ride-sharing service established an Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) in the US to research, develop and test autonomous technology as it looks to move its services forward, but it is rethinking its strategy.

The technology firm had already begun testing its autonomous trucks on the roads, but ATG head Eric Meyhofer has now revealed those tests will be coming to an end.

“We believe having our entire team’s energy and expertise focused on this effort is the best path forward. Rather than having two groups working side by side, focused on different vehicle platforms, I want us instead collaborating as one team,” he said in a statement.

One of Uber’s self-driving trucks (Screenshot/Uber)

“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.”

Uber’s self-driving car development has not been without problems. It suspended testing on roads across the US in March after a fatal crash in Arizona.

The firm only recently began putting cars back on to roads in Pittsburgh following the incident.

Uber is one of a handful of firms investing heavily in the research and development of driverless and self-driving vehicles. Others include Google offshoot Waymo and established car firms including Ford and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler.

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