The Key Engineer in Uber and Google Self-Driving Lawsuit Is Back

(Bloomberg) -- One of the most controversial figures in the self-driving technology space is back.

Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer and key character behind the tech giant’s lawsuit against Uber, reemerged with a new trucking startup on Tuesday called Pronto.ai.

The company plans to start shipping a $4,999, seven-camera system that helps keeps commercial trucks in their lane in the first half of 2019, a spokesman said in an email. Pronto.ai says its system only works when drivers are engaged and watching the road.

A bevy of startups, major automakers and truck manufacturers are working on similar products that bring automatic braking or lane changing to vehicles, without making them fully autonomous. Many cars now come standard with these features.

Levandowski wrote in a blog post that his plan is to break into the massive commercial trucking industry, whose drivers combat fatigue and bad weather that result in thousands of crash deaths a year in the U.S.

Levandowski left from Google in 2016 to co-found the self-driving trucking company Otto, which Uber acquired later that year. Google’s Waymo then sued Uber, alleging theft of critical technology. The ride-hailing company settled in February by agreeing to give Waymo about $245 million in Uber stock.

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