May 8, 2017 - Technology

Uber expands self-driving car efforts with Toronto team

Uber has hired Raquel Urtasun, a University of Toronto professor and expert on artificial intelligence, to lead a new self-driving car unit in Toronto, the company told TechCrunch. Urtason and her team will work on perception, localization and mapping, and general machine learning.

Urtasun is a founding member of Vector Institute, a new AI research organization funded by federal and local governments, and technology companies like Google and Thalmic Labs.

Why it matters: Uber's self-driving car unit has lost several engineers and managers in the past year. The unit has also been embroiled in a high-profile lawsuit since February when Alphabet's self-driving car unit filed a lawsuit over intellectual property. Urtasun told TechCrunch that her work isn't related to LiDAR, the vision sensor technology at the center of the lawsuit, and that she doesn't have reservations about joining the company.

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