Your Uber Otto has arrived
...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.
Travis and I separately met Anthony in 2011 at the same Google robo-test-drive event and were smitten with autonomous driving from that point. We took subsequent test drives back in Silicon Valley on 101 and on suburban streets. Back then, he Google cars did everything except highway merges with confidence. Here are some more photos over the years.