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Published on August 23rd, 2016 | by James Ayre


Steve Jurvetson Comments On Uber’s Acquisition Of Otto

August 23rd, 2016 by  

Steve Jurvetson recently posted a noteworthy piece on Flickr about Uber’s acquisition of Otto — the recently formed autonomous semi-truck technology firm composed of ex-Google engineers.

The Otto team was acquired as a means of speeding up Uber’s transition to autonomous vehicles, with the new recruits now spearheading the company’s autonomous efforts reportedly.

Otto autonomous driving truck

Rather than paraphrase, I’ll just go ahead and quote the bulk of his comments right here, enjoy.

…at the DFJ steps for an autonomous test drive.

Congrats to Anthony, Lior and the Otto team on their acquisition by Uber to run their autonomous drive efforts.

It is bittersweet for me, as I have been talking with them for over five years now, excited by many of the cool ideas percolating back at Google, leading up to the spinout of 25 great engineers from the autonomous driving team earlier this year.

You can see the sensor rig on top and custom LIDAR up front. We took a ride down highway 280 near Sand Hill Rd., which seemed appropriate as 280 was their initial test track and the placeholder name for the company before becoming ot.to

Congrats as well for going 0 to $680M+ in 6 months, self-funded by the founders. Uber needed the autonomous driving talent, and the $7.5M per head is in line with the $6-10 range for talent acquisitions I wrote about last week here

Notably, Jurvetson is a lead investor and on the board of Tesla Motors, which recently announced plans to get into electric semi-trucks and is well known for its leadership in semi-autonomous driving. Jurvetson was actually the first Tesla Model S owner and nabbed the second Tesla Model X, only behind CEO Elon Musk.

Jurvetson shared news of the acquisition published in the New York Times and The Verge.

He also shared more of his pictures related to autonomous vehicles here, and he kindly published the photo above and others under a CC license.

Related: Uber To Use Self-Driving Cars In Select Markets Later This Month


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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