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Here’s why Uber just gave $5.5M to Carnegie Mellon

September 9, 2015, 9:55 PM UTC
Photograph by Andrew Harrer — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Earlier this year, ride-hailing company Uber announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to build a research center for developing driverless car and robotics technology, and Uber seems to be so far pleased with the deal.

On Wednesday, the two announced that Uber has donated $5.5 million to the university to fund a new robotics faculty chair and three fellowships at the university.

Ironically, a few months ago, Uber nearly gutted the university’s robotics department, reportedly poaching some 40 of its researchers and scientists for its Pittsburg-based research center by offering them big paychecks. Wednesday’s gift could be viewed as a Uber’s attempt to make amends, if you will.

Though Uber currently relies on human drivers to fuel its transportation and logistics empire, the company has been very open about its interest in driverless cars. Uber recently announced another partnership, this time with the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Science to work on the technologies that go into mapping and safety.