Uber wants to accelerate autonomous driving, and to accomplish this goal, it’s making an investment in future research. Company chief executive Travis Kalanick announced today that Uber will be giving $5.5 million to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to support a new robotics faculty chair and three fellowships at the academic institution.
Earlier this year, Uber and CMU formed a partnership that would establish a new tech center dedicated to developing autonomous driving vehicles. Called the Uber Advanced Technologies Center, it’s being billed as a place for “research and development, primarily in the areas of mapping and vehicle safety and autonomy technology.”
It’s likely that this gift to the university will help create a place in which to foster new talent for Uber, especially given its history with Carnegie Mellon. The on-demand car service has been staffing itself up with dozens of autonomous vehicle experts that work at the acclaimed college, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Kalanick puts today’s announcement this way:
Carnegie Mellon University has proven the power of curiosity many times over with its groundbreaking research in computer science and robotics: research that has made self-driving cars possible. And we’re passionate about our mission to make transportation as reliable as running water, for everyone everywhere.
Naturally, Carnegie Mellon appreciates this gift from Uber, which it said in a statement highlights the institution’s “leading position” in robotics research and education.