Tech Updates

Uber ATG upgrades its self-reliant truck check fleet with new tech

Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group has a new version of its testing transport truck for self-sustaining tech. The new version features an updated era stack, inclusive of a 64-channel spinning LiDAR array, which is something in no way used formerly on any of the previous Otto’s take a look at vans. The Uber ATG truck drastically drops all Otto branding, as you may see, on account that Uber retired that call in May following a hallmark dispute raised by way of Canada’s Otto Motors. After the self-using trucking corporation, Uber obtained became the impetus for a fit by way of Alphabet’s Way contesting, Otto professionals took confidential agency information when they departed Google.

Uber’s Advanced Technology Group has taken over possession of the undertaking, with Otto falling under its umbrella as of the final year. Now, the fans were upgraded with a few factors of ATG tech for the primary time. But ATG vehicles product supervisor Alden Woodrow informed me the former Otto group based totally in San Francisco continues to be main the truck tech. “Otto turned into based in San Francisco, and so on the mixing, maximum of our engineering attempt is still based in San Francisco for the vehicles,” he stated. “But one of the superb matters about being a part of this large group is we have that team in Pittsburgh that has a simply world-elegance crew, and that has had numerous years’ head begin on growing similar technology. So we work honestly closely with the group in Pittsburgh.”

Woodrow also mentioned that similarly to close collaboration between the Pittsburgh and San Francisco teams, the brand new ATG office in Toronto below Raquel Urtasun will offer additional opportunities to help further expand their tech. The new Uber ATG truck tech loadout additionally consists of upgraded additives and software programs for the duration of the automobile further to the brand new spinning LiDAR. It is completely refreshed, with new hardware sensors and new software program components at some point. This updates the layout that became used formerly, along with all through Otto’s press-grabbing independent Budweiser freight cargo haul, which eventually earned a Guinness World Record for “the longest non-stop journey with the aid of a driverless and self-reliant semitrailer truck.”


Woodrow additionally says that this tech refresh also became no longer made as an instantaneous end result of the ongoing Uber/Wayne felony fight. The LiDAR used in the new design is an off-the-shelf element (maximum probably an HDL-64E sourced via Velodyne, given the layout and specifications, although he could not affirm it because of confidentiality agreements), as opposed to one evolved in-residence. “It’s an off-the-shelf machine from a third-birthday party, so it’s without a doubt become independent from a number of the things at trouble in the Waymon fit about us developing our own LiDAR; it’s a very separate product,” Woodrow stated. “This is completely independent of that; it’s continually been a part of the plan to combine the Otto generation with the ATG generation. The Otto stack sincerely didn’t use 64-channel LiDAR at all.”

Votto’s layout in no way used LiDAR of this kind in its tech stack (a spinning, sixty-four-channel module), Woodrow says, and the addition of its capabilities must assist extensively with statistics available to the autonomous using gadget. “That honestly extensively improves what facts the truck is capable of capture about the arena, so it builds a completely remarkable point cloud of its surroundings,” he said. “So that absolutely facilitates the software program system make higher decisions about what’s out there inside the world and make better choices.”

This new truck can be noticed in checking out in SF and on neighboring highways, Woodrow says. I asked him how the California DMV feels about this, given some earlier reports that the licensing body becomes reportedly looking into its previous self-sufficient truck checks. Woodrow informed me that they really have a near courting with the DMV and that representatives have been simply in these days to get an update on their progress.

He also said he believes that their position is that they consider the ATG vans Level 2 automobiles, like Tesla Motors, ready with Autopilot, which means they don’t require autonomous licensing specifically. Every truck has a trained driving force onboard prepared to take control, Woodrow noted. I reached out to the DMV to confirm, but they didn’t right now respond to my request for comment [Update: The DMV provided official comment, see below].

Uber ATG has additionally bought a range of new vans ready with its new generation and says it’s in all likelihood extra San Franciscans will see the vehicles out and approximately on the roads as a result. He additionally said we will anticipate seeing more demonstration runs like the Budweiser shipping within the future, even though he delivered it’s a touch too quickly to talk about specifics just yet.


Jeremy D. Mena
Alcohol geek. Future teen idol. Web practitioner. Problem solver. Certified bacon guru. Spent 2002-2009 researching plush toys in Miami, FL. Won several awards for exporting tar in Libya. Uniquely-equipped for managing human growth hormone in Libya. Spent a weekend implementing fried chicken on the black market. Spoke at an international conference about working on carnival rides in Miami, FL. Developed several new methods for donating jack-in-the-boxes in Edison, NJ.