Not satisfied with developing its own fleet of autonomous cars, Uber is now looking to move into the autonomous trucking business too, with news that it has bid $680m for the start-up Otto.
With Uber starting to roll out its first self-driving car fleet in the US city of Pittsburgh this month – with human supervision – its decision to also purchase a self-driving truck start-up is perhaps unsurprising.
As far as start-ups go, Otto – born out of an idea created by former Google employees – is still very much fresh-faced, having only been founded earlier this year, but now it and its 91 employees will fall under Uber’s umbrella.
The news was announced by both companies on their blogs but additional reports suggest that Otto’s current employees are set to make a significant windfall as they will collectively receive 20pc of any profits from Uber’s future self-driving truck business.
Otto first came to the attention of the wider world after it released a kit that would let you retroactively turn a truck into a semi-autonomous vehicle, allowing the driver to let the truck drive by itself on major motorways.