- Ron co-founded Otto, an autonomous vehicle start-up, which Uber bought in 2016. His LinkedIn profile lists him as the head of Uber Freight.
- The company last week suspended its autonomous driving tests in all cities after a fatal collision in Arizona.
Lior Ron, the co-founder of a self-driving truck company Uber acquired, is leaving the company according to a person familiar with the matter.
Ron co-founded Otto, an autonomous vehicle start-up, which Uber bought in 2016, and his LinkedIn profile lists him as the head of Uber Freight. Ron co-founded the start up with Anthony Levandowski, who was at the center of a lawsuit between Uber and Alphabet-owned Waymo.
Waymo alleged that when Uber acquired Otto, founded by star Google engineer Levandowski, the engineer brought some 14,000 Google files with him, some of which contained Waymo trade secrets. Levandowsky left Uber in May. The companies settled the dispute in February and Uber agreed to pay Waymo roughly $245 million.
The crash is thought to be the first pedestrian death from an autonomous vehicle. It's raised questions about Uber's use of safety sensors, which detect objects in the road.
"Our hearts go out to the victim's family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident," the company said in a statement at the time.
The New York Times reported Uber's self-driving tests were struggling even before the crash, falling far below industry standard for miles traveled before a safety driver has to intervene and take over for the auto-pilot system.
Uber declined to comment on Ron's departure, but said: "We remain fully invested in and excited about the future of Uber Freight. Since launching in Texas, we have introduced Freight to all states in the continental U.S. We believe it will continue to grow as we use our network and technology to transform the trucking industry."
Correction: This story and its headline have been updated to reflect that Ron was the co-founder of Otto, a self-driving truck company Uber bought. Uber's self-driving efforts predated that acquisition.