In late July, Uber announced that it planned to shift its focus away from self-driving trucks. A little more than a week later, numerous news outlets report that a former Uber executive has started another venture involving autonomous heavy-duty trucks.
Forbes reported on Aug. 7 that Don Burnette, who left Uber in March, has raised $40 million for a self-driving startup. Burnette teamed with Paz Eshel to create Kodiak Robotics, which is based in Mountain View, Calif.
“Long-haul self-driving trucks are the first place that we’re going to see this technology out into the world, and we’re really excited about bringing that to bear,” Burnette told Forbes. “Unlike at Uber, which had wanted to perfect both robo-taxi technology as well as automated trucks, Kodiak is fixated exclusively on the latter.”
Meanwhile, Uber has stopped the development of its self-driving truck program and is moving forward exclusively with cars. The company plans to redirect employees who were working on self-driving trucks to other aspects of developing self-driving technology.
However, Uber Freight is “unaffected by the decision.” According to the company, Uber Freight has tripled its staff over the past 15 months, and load volume is doubling every quarter.
Kodiak Robotics co-founders Don Burnette and Paz Eshel (Photo courtesy Kodiak Robotics)
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