Lior Ron (business executive)

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Lior Ron speaks during a panel discussion of the DLD17 (Digital-Life-Design) Conference at the Alte Bayerische Staatsbank on 16 January, 2017 in Munich

Lior Ron (born March 16, 1977) is an Israeli-born businessman. He served in the Israel Defense Forces from 1997 to 2004, before attending Stanford to pursue a MBA.[1] In 2016 he co-founded Otto, a self-driving truck company, with Anthony Levandowski, Claire Delaunay and Don Burnette.[2] Prior to Otto he was the Product Lead for Google Maps and then the Product Lead for Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by Google in 2011.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

In 1994 Ron entered The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Computer Science.[4] He graduated in 1997 and from there joined Israeli Army Intelligence where he served until 2004. He left the Israeli Army to attend The Stanford Graduate School of Business where he earned his MBA.[1] Then in 2007 he joined Google as the Product Lead for Google Maps. According to The New York Times, “he also worked in the company’s Motorola mobile phone business for three years and then in its secretive robotics research effort.”[5]

Recent career[edit]

In 2016 Ron left Google to found Otto, a company that makes self-driving kits to retrofit big rig trucks.[6] Quoted in Wired, Ron said he left Google because he “felt an obligation to bring this technology to society sooner rather than later.”[7] Otto launched in May, 2016 and was acquired by Uber in late July the same year.[8] The Uber partnership allowed Ron and Otto the opportunity to develop a freight marketplace for truck drivers.[9] In March 2018, Ron left Uber but returned in August 2018.[10]

On May 18, 2017, Ron and Uber launched Uber Freight, an app for long-haul truck drivers.[11] The Uber Freight app is "targeted towards vetted and approved drivers, who can browse for nearby available loads, see destination info, distance required and payment upfront and then tap to book."[12]


Ron co-founded Otto with Anthony Levandowski, who faces a lawsuit from Google's parent company Alphabet that alleges Levandowski stole trade secrets while working for Alphabet's self-driving car division before he and Ron co-founded Otto.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Meet Lior Ron, The Guy In Charge Of Google's Big Attempt To Kill Samsung And Apple With An 'X Phone'". Business Insider. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Uber's First Self-Driving Fleet Arrives in Pittsburgh This Month". BloombergBusinessweek. 18 August 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  3. ^ "The Man Who Built Google's First Self-Driving Car Is Now a Trucker". Backchannel. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Meet Lior Ron, the Israeli Tech Guru at the Center of the Self-Driving Revolution". Forward. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  5. ^ Markoff, John (17 May 2016). "Want to Buy a Self-Driving Car? Big-Rig Trucks May Come First". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Google veterans head off on their own to work on self-driving trucks". The Verge. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  7. ^ Stewart, Jack (17 May 2016). "$30K Retrofit Turns Dumb Semis Into Self-Driving Robots". Wired. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Uber acquires Otto to lead Uber's self-driving car effort". TechCrunch. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Why Self-Driving Trucks May Be the Next Big Thing on the Road". TIME. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Otto co-founder Lior Ron is back at Uber".
  11. ^ "Uber launches Uber Freight, its app for long-haul trucking jobs". The Verge. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Uber Freight launches to connect truck drivers with available shipments". TechCrunch. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  13. ^ Isaac, Mike; Wakabayashi, Daisuke (25 February 2017). "A Lawsuit Against Uber Highlights the Rush to Conquer Driverless Cars". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 April 2017.