Google’s project started in 2009, long before carmakers and most other companies seriously considered the technology. But when Singapore unveiled the first autonomous taxi service in August, Google wasn’t involved. Instead, a small startup called nuTonomy provided the technology. Uber Technologies Inc., founded in 2009, will soon let users of its popular ride-sharing app hail autonomous Volvo SUVs in Pittsburgh.
Otto, a startup run by former Google car project members, is developing a self-driving system for trucks on highways, an easier technological challenge than the one Google faces. Uber acquired Otto in July.