Lior Ron, co-founder of Otto, the self-driving truck company Uber purchased in 2016, is leaving just as the ride-sharing giant is dealing with the aftermath of a fatal autonomous vehicle accident.
There is no clear reason for his departure, which was first reported by CNBC and Uber confirmed to The Daily Caller News Foundation. It could be due to multiple instances.
Uber reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount Wednesday with the family of the woman who died this month after being struck by a self-driving Uber SUV in Arizona. The governor of Arizona on Monday suspended Uber’s driverless car testing on the state’s roads after originally giving it the green light. (RELATED: The Self-Driving Revolution May Hit A Massive Roadblock Following Car Flip)
Ron was also part of a circus of a lawsuit between Uber and Waymo that is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet. Anthony Levandowski, which created the startup with Ron, was sued in February 2017 for allegedly stealing trade secrets from Waymo, of which he was employed at the time, and taking them for his own personal endeavor.
Levandowski was eventually pushed out of Uber in May 2017 due to the legal headaches he caused, and the two powerful entities settled, leaving Waymo with roughly $244.8 million in Uber stock. Ron and his inclusion in the lawsuit was mistakenly revealed due to a clerical error, after court documents failed to completely conceal all aspects of his identity. His name was blackened out or redacted in every area of a 68-page document, except for on the final page.
Ron and Levandowski were accused of other transgressions related to the case, such as browsing “how to secretly delete files mac” and allegedly trying to poach employees from Google. (RELATED: Trump Admin’s Driverless Car Strategy Wants Businesses To Take The Wheel)
Uber declined to comment on Ron’s departure, but did say it always remains fully “invested in and excited about the future of Uber Freight.” (RELATED: Uber, Anheuser-Busch Use Self-Driving Truck To Deliver 45,000 Cans Of ‘America’)
“Since launching in Texas, we have introduced Freight to all states in the continental U.S,” an Uber spokesman told TheDCNF. “We believe it will continue to grow as we use our network and technology to transform the trucking industry.”
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