Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick firmly believed that autonomous technology was a game-changer and wanted to master this technology before anyone else. Consequently, he gathered a team of autonomous technology experts and this led to the formation of Uber’s self-driving car unit in 2015.
Since then, from financial losses to safety concerns arising over the autonomous vehicle-related death of an individual in Arizona, the unit has failed to live up to its expectations.
Uber sold the Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) to Aurora Innovation, a startup led by autonomous driving veterans like Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson, and Drew Bagnell. As per the SEC filing, Uber will invest $400 million into Aurora and will own a 26% stake in the combined company.
In this article, we will be providing you with a brief overview of the patent portfolio of Uber ATG to give an idea of what Uber ATG can offer. If you want to check the full patent portfolio of Uber, we have covered it here: Uber Patent Portfolio Analysis
Overview of Uber ATG’s Patent portfolio
Uber ATG’s patent portfolio consists of 271 patent families under an assignee name UATC LLC. The patents are filed in the US, European Union, Singapore, China, and Australia with the US being the dominant region.
Technological profile of Uber ATG’s Patent Portfolio
We have divided the patent portfolio of Uber ATG into 5 major clusters- Autonomous Vehicle, Communication Technologies, Design, Navigation, and Uber App & Services. The exhibit below provides the distribution of 271 patent families into the five clusters
Autonomous Vehicle (195 Patent Families)
The autonomous vehicle section, as expected, is the largest contributor in the patent portfolio consisting of 195 patent families. The exhibit below has the distribution of patent families in the Autonomous Vehicle cluster into various subcategories.
Navigation (41 Patent Families)
The navigation section is the second dominant technology in Uber’s ATG patent portfolio. Most of the patent families in the Navigation cluster are focused on Using Radio Waves like Radar and Sonar.
Uber App & Services (20 Patent Families)
Uber App & Services domain of Uber ATG Patent Portfolio consists of 20 patent families with data processing systems dominating this section.
Communication Technologies (7 Patent Families)
This section consists of 7 patent families which can be divided into 2 sections – Digital Information Transmission and Wireless communication.
Design patents (3 Patent Families)
In case you are not from the patent industry and are just a curious cat: There are two kinds of patents – utility patents and design patents. Utility patents are focused on the functionality of the technology whereas design patents simply cover the visual properties of a product. Uber ATG has 3 design patents that are catering to sensory housings for autonomous vehicles.
Other Technologies (5 Patent Families)
Some of the Uber ATG patents couldn’t be bucketed into any of the above domains. Hence, we have clustered them as other technologies. There are 5 such patent families that are majorly focussed on computation systems using neural networks.