clock menu more-arrow no yes

Recode Daily: Uber is dumping its controversy-plagued self-driving truck business

Plus, the rapid evolution of robot hands.

A freight truck driving away from the camera on a deserted two-lane road in the desert Uber

Uber is shutting down its self-driving trucks unit and will instead focus its development efforts on autonomous cars. The company’s moves in the trucking industry have been dogged by controversy since 2016 when Uber paid a reported $680 million for Otto, a self-driving trucks startup founded by former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski, who was later sued by Alphabet and fired from Uber. Uber Freight, a business unit that helps truck drivers connect with shipping companies, is unaffected by the decision. [Kristen Korosec / TechCrunch]

[Want to get the Recode Daily in your inbox? Subscribe here.]

T-Mobile US signed a $3.5 billion deal with Nokia to build 5G wireless network gear for the mobile carrier, the world’s largest 5G deal yet. T-Mobile, the No. 3 U.S. mobile carrier — which recently agreed to a merger with Sprint — said the multiyear supply deal will allow it to deliver the first nationwide 5G services, creating a more formidable rival to telecom giants Verizon and AT&T. [Eric Auchard / Reuters]

A Berlin-based startup wants to be “Netflix for gadgets” by offering pay-as-you-go subscription rentals of the latest consumer tech. Targeting Germany only for now, Grover, which has raised about $43 million in a series A round, offers individual tech products by subscription as an alternative to owning products outright; it has also been testing a B2B product aimed at young companies that, for example, might want to subscribe to a bunch of MacBooks to give to new employees. [Steve O’Hear / TechCrunch]

The world economy runs on GPS — and it needs a backup plan. The Global Positioning System, the ubiquitous satellite navigation technology that was built for the U.S. military, has found its way into all our pockets. Not just for maps, it’s also a kind of vast, spaceborne clock that keeps global computer systems from freaking out. It’s also shockingly vulnerable to all kinds of interference. [Paul Tullis / Bloomberg Businessweek]

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner laid out 20 different paths to address problems posed by Big Tech platforms, from putting a price on users’ data, to requiring platforms to label bot accounts, to imitating Europe’s GDPR rules and giving more powers to consumers. The policy paper prepared by the staff of Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman Warner is a window to the options available to U.S. policymakers concerned about disinformation and privacy.[David McCabe / Axios]

Make time for this fascinating yarn about how an ex-cop rigged McDonald’s point-of-sale Monopoly game and stole millions. Jerry Jacobson and his network of mobsters, psychics, strip-club owners and drug traffickers won almost every prize for 12 years, until the FBI launched an undercover scam sting called Operation Final Answer. [Jeff Maysh / The Daily Beast]

Prediction markets that let users bet on assassinations of public figures or the number of days before the next mass shooting have begun to appear on Augur, a blockchain-based, uncensorable platform where users can create prediction markets based on the outcome of any verifiable event, from World Cup games to elections to cryptocurrency prices to the weather. Meanwhile, small countries like Bermuda and Malta are competing to become the go-to destinations for cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and projects. [David Floyd / Coindesk]

Top stories from Recode

“Eighth Grade” director Bo Burnham is happy that a lot of people “have no idea who I am.”

The worst kind of fame, the actor-comedian says on the latest episode of Recode Media, is the kind that makes everyone ask, “Where do I know you from?”

This is cool

How robot hands are evolving to do what ours can.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.