Uber is acquiring Otto, a startup that’s been working on developing self-driving trucks for an undisclosed sum. Its co-founder, Anthony Levandowski, is a former Googler who is working on self-driving for years. He’ll direct Uber’s whole self-driving department– both Otto’s self-driving truck efforts and Uber’s own fast-growing autonomous division, reporting straight to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
The news comes as Uber reveals a public pilot program that will see its self-driving vehicles picking up genuine travelers in Pittsburgh later on this month.
Uber has been expanding its self-driving department, opening an Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh equipped with 50 robotics engineers poached from Carnegie Mellon University’s own self-driving laboratory, as well as scientists from other companies.