Thursday, June 01, 2017

Alphabet Driverless Ambitions Looked Stalled. Then It Sued Uber - Bloomberg

Driving innovation

"But behind the scenes, Waymo was shoring up its engineering bench and improving the technology. Since being spun out of Alphabet’s X lab in December, the division has hired aggressively, including several engineers from Terra Bella, the satellite division Google sold earlier this year, according to a person familiar with the situation. Waymo also designed new hardware that helps vehicles see their surroundings better. Another auto manufacturing deal with Honda Motor Co. is in the works, and earlier this month, Waymo announced a U.S. partnership with Uber nemesis Lyft Inc.

Uber’s fortunes, meanwhile, have cratered. Executives have been leaving amid a broader culture crisis, ignited by claims of pervasive sexual harassment across the company. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to issue an internal report on this issue to the company this week. Among those who have left: Sherif Marakby, a high-profile hire from Detroit responsible for deals with carmakers at Uber’s self-driving unit. Earlier this month, he returned to Ford. Several other engineers from Uber’s self-driving program have also recently left, defecting for autonomous companies started by former Uber and Waymo roboticists, according to their LinkedIn profiles."
Alphabet Driverless Ambitions Looked Stalled. Then It Sued Uber - Bloomberg
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