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Future Society

An Autonomous Future: Uber Just Bought Self-Driving Cargo Truck Startup Otto

Uber is looking to become way more than just a taxi app.

Uber has not been shy about its autonomous driving ambitions. The transportation network is looking to be the leader in the field against Google and most major automakers. It has just started a fielding self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, and has now made another step towards its driverless dreams.

It has just acquired Otto, a startup that has been working towards self-driving trucks for some time now. It will be acquiring the whole company, including company co-founder Anthony Levandowski, who will now head Uber’s autonomous division.

Otto has been working on autonomous trucks, with the goal not of making its own car from scratch, but creating kits to work on existing truck models. It will eventually be starting a cargo service for long-haul trucking.

In the announcement of the acquisition, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick notes that this completes Uber’s goal of branching into three sectors: personal transportation, delivery, and trucking.

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