In the effort to develop its own driverless car, Uber has partnered up with an operation unit within CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) named NREC (National Robotic Engineering Center) earlier this year. NREC is known for its robotic research center which works closely with the government and the industry people to apply robotic to the real-world product and processes such as the autonomous vehicle.
However, the partnership is getting complicated as Uber poached 40 of its researchers and scientists as reported by Wall Street Journal leaving CMU in a crisis. Among them are six principal investigators and 34 engineers. On top of that Uber also opens up its own driverless car research facility which is located just a few minutes from NREC’s laboratories.
Jeff Legault, head of business development for NREC, told WSJ that he would have preferred Uber to just come to them and work with the school to develop the technology. However, as the lines between academic and industry is a little bit grey, therefore, it seems that industries always want talented people to work for them leaving the low key people which they left behind to suffer temporarily. On the other hand, this could be seen as an opportunity for the university to attract more talented people in the future.
On the other hand, if we take a look at the bigger picture, Uber’s location in Pittsburgh will mean that it could transform the city into America’s next technology hub similar to Silicon Valley.