Uber’s Hiring of University’s ‘Driverless’ Experts Leaves Pittsburgh in Better Shape

CMU’s robotics program has no connection with Uber’s driverless car project. Eighteen months on, the university has rebounded from the events surrounding Uber’s hiring of its staff and has replenished its ranks. Martial Hebert, head of the Robotics Institute, said “the stories about what happened were worse than the event. As everyone knows, there’s normal movement between universities and industry.” The Institute today is alive with experiments of all kinds, from repair robots that can enter a crippled nuclear power plant to software that manages the “handoff” when a driver must resume control of autonomous technology following a malfunction. Some projects are underwritten by private corporations, some from government — the U.S. military is vitally interested in battlefield applications.