IN 2015, THEN Uber CEO Travis Kalanick pulled off a bold talent raid when he poached some 40 roboticists from the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon. The move reportedly left the world-class engineering university reeling, and it seemed to signal that the world’s hottest startup was on the cusp of making self-driving cars a reality.
Now, that self-driving unit is no more, and the estimated timeline for robotaxi domination has extended well into this decade. Uber said Monday it would sell off the self-driving unit that was the result of that raid, the Pittsburgh-based Advanced Technologies Group. The 1,200-person unit will be acquired by the self-driving-tech developer Aurora. Uber will invest $400 million in Aurora as part of the deal, bringing Aurora’s valuation to $10 billion and tripling its workforce. Uber’s current CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, will also take a seat on Aurora’s board.