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>> Uber is distancing itself from it's most famous acquisition. I'm Heather Somerville, technology correspondent with Reuters in San Francisco. Last fall, Uber was gung ho for self-driving trucks after it bought Otto. What is Otto? It's a self-driving truck startup started by a former Google employee just early last year.
Now, it seems Uber wants nothing to do with Otto, which is also at the center of a high stakes litigation over trade secrets theft. The lawsuit filed by Google's Waymo is one of the most highly watched in Silicon Valley. Why? Because it's going to the heart of Uber's growth strategy.
Uber wants to grow using self-driving technology, which will enable it to get rid of its drivers, which is one of its biggest costs. Uber this month launched Uber Freight. This is an app for truck drivers to help connect them with the loads they need to carry. Sources in industry I have spoken with say that this idea of a new brokerage firm was conceived at Otto and led by Otto founders.
Now, the folks at Uber Freight say Otto had nothing to do with it. Last fall, Otto told me that they were gonna work hand in hand with Uber to develop a suite of technologies including autonomous driving, logistics and navigation, and provide that to the trucking industry. But today it appears that Otto has really stalled a lot of its progress.
This slowing of progress at Otto, and Uber's distancing itself from the company it just bought, in the context of this lawsuit suggests perhaps that Uber in buying Otto was really just going after Anthony Levandowski, the founder. And some of the people who worked at Otto and really wasn't all that interested in the self-driving truck business.