Monday, June 1, 2015

Battle FOR Robot Engineers

Uber has raided the Carnegie Mellon robotics center for its own lab, luring away six principal investigators and 34 engineers and leaving one of the world’s top robotics research institutions understaffed, reports WSJ.

From WSJ:
Uber envisions autonomous cars that could someday replace its tens of thousands of contract drivers. With virtually no in-house capability, the San Francisco company went to the one place with enough talent to build a team instantly: Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, or NREC.

Flush with cash after raising more than $5 billion from investors, Uber offered some scientists bonuses of hundreds of thousands of dollars and a doubling of salaries to staff the company’s new tech center in Pittsburgh, according to one researcher at NREC. Uber declined to comment on that....

While the tech center is closed to the public, there are signs of Uber’s presence in Pittsburgh. A car strapped with sensors and emblazoned with an Uber logo was recently spotted driving the city’s streets. The company said the car was driven by a person and part of its early research efforts.

Uber also put up a billboard outside Carnegie Mellon’s computer-sciences building that said: “We are looking for the best software engineers in Pittsburgh.”

Graduate students are being approached to work at the company. “I have been approached, and others I know have as well,” said Tianyu Gu, a doctoral student working on algorithms that help vehicles’ computer brains plan their next moves on the road.

Taxis and ride-sharing services could become one of the first widespread applications of fully autonomous vehicles, an area of increasing focus for auto makers such as Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and tech companies from Google Inc. to Uber

1 comment:

  1. Have not used Uber, Lyft or the like; have not had the need. What I don’t like is that they do not accept cash. The rideshare app and accepting payment only via bank cards only puts a double whammy of traceability on this form of transportation.

    Uber is becoming a big tech company. This puts them in the cross hairs of the Empire for infiltration similar to other tech companies. Maybe this has already happened and that is why they have been able to go in the direction they are heading.

    These things may not keep me from using one of these rideshare companies if I determine it to be advantageous to me, but it is part of the consideration. And that’s too bad because if it weren’t for the thieving government I probably would not care much about having my transportation tracked.