Vimo to open offices in Pittsburgh, an AV Tech Hub – TechCrunch
Vaimo, Google’s former self-driving car project, which is now an alphabetically independent business unit, is expanding its presence in the eastern United States. The company said Thursday it would open offices in Pittsburgh, part of a growing company of companies developing and testing autonomous vehicle technology. In Steel City
The company will begin hiring about a dozen engineers, a source familiar with the move told TechCrunch, and they will jointly search Google’s existing offices in the Bakery Square district. As of Thursday, only three open positions for the Pittsburgh area were listed on Vimo’s website, but the company will soon add more.
Some of the new team will come from Pittsburgh-based Robot Witts, a tech startup that focuses on autonomous vehicle decision-making. That includes Maxim Lechich, founder and CEO of RobotWits, and other members of its engineering and technical team. Sources said that although Vimo was not technically able to get the startup, it did acquire the IP rights of Robot Witts.
The source added that there are no current plans to deploy the so-called Vimo driver, its autonomous driving platform, in Pittsburgh. Instead, the new team will work on motion planning development, real-time route planning and driver development. So far, the driver has seen deployments in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area. It will be run in a test run by JB Hunt Transport Services, a logistics company, in Vimo Via Trucking and Cargo Service Tax.
AVTech rivals Aurora, Moshni, Argo A have already set up offices in the city. Combined with the talented talents at Carnegie Mellon University, the city has established itself as a hub for the development of autonomous engineering. Pittsburgh also has a number of small AV startups, including Locomotion, which operates autonomous trucks.
Vimo’s Pittsburgh location will be part of its network of offices in Mountain View, San Francisco, Phoenix, New York, Dallas, and Hyderabad, India.