How a robot lover pioneered the driverless car, and why he’s selling his latest to Uber

“In 30 years, every single new car will be autonomous. That’s completely obvious,” says Levandowski, who was also the engineer responsible for Google’s first driverless car.
“But it will take a long time for the technology to be ubiquitous. It’s probably one of those things where we overestimate it in the short run and underestimate it in the long run.” Levandowski himself could not be accused over underestimating the potential of robotic vehicles. After building Ghostrider, he put the first driverless car on public roads in 2008, and sold a start-up to Google that formed the nucleus of its self-driving car project. His latest venture, an autonomous truck company called Otto that only launched in May, is being bought by Uber for an estimated $680m.