Engineer who spurred court battle over autonomous tech forms new self-driving truck biz

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Anthony Levandowski, the autonomous tech engineer who was at the center of a prominent court battle between Google‘s self-driving venture Waymo and ride-sharing provider Uber, has started a new company aimed at automating commercial trucks, Pronto AI.

Levandowski writes on medium.com that Pronto AI will be offering its first product, Copilot, to the commercial trucking industry. The Level 2 autonomous system offers driver assist features designed to improve safety, emissions and driver comfort, he says.

“The market that we believe makes the most sense to engage first is the commercial trucking industry, which stands to benefit tremendously from an aftermarket product that will help truck drivers deliver their cargo anywhere in the world with greater safety and comfort than ever before,” Levandowski writes. “Another bonus, it’ll cost orders of magnitude less to deploy than anything else that’s been promoted so far.”

Levandowski explains why he’s taking another leap into the world of autonomous tech: “Over the past 15 years, we’ve witnessed numerous advances in self-driving technology. I’m proud to have played a big role in it,” the former head of Otto, Uber’s self-driving vehicle venture (which has since been shuttered), writes. “At the same time, I’ve admittedly grown frustrated  —  and at times impatient  —  with the industry’s inability to deliver on its promises.”

Levandowski says his company will focus on mastering Level 2 autonomy.

Pronto AI used its Level 2 tech to drive a car across the country without any human intervention in October.