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Cadillac May Be Pittsburgh's Next Self-Driving Car Company

Rumors are swirling in Pittsburgh that a new self-driving Cadillac model belongs to the "stealth mode robotics company," NextDroid.

(TNS) -- Another self-driving car company might be setting up shop in Pittsburgh.

Reporters at Gizmodo appear to have unmasked NextDroid , a mix of Carnegie Mellon University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates working on driverless cars and undersea robotics, according to the website's reporting.

The mystery started Thursday when a tipster sent Gizmodo a photo a sleek, black Cadillac sedan parked in Pittsburgh with what looked like a suite of sensors used on self-driving cars. Gizmodo posted the photo and asked: "So who does this car belong to?"

"Here's what we know: The Cadillac spotted by our tipster is kitted out with off-the-shelf lidar and cameras, and the car doesn't sport any branding that might give away the identity of its owner. Cadillac's parent company, General Motors, has been testing autonomous vehicles for a while now. But is this part of its fleet, or someone else's autonomous ride?"

The answer might have arrived Monday afternoon when Gizmodo posted an update.

"Two sources tell Gizmodo that this car belongs to a robotics company called NextDroid, which operates out of the Cube Creative Space where the Cadillac was spotted. Another source showed Gizmodo a picture of a Cadillac with similar features on the road in Minnesota, sporting manufacturer plates that are issued to automakers for vehicle testing."

Gizmodo reached out to Sam Tolkoff, who signed papers filed with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State for NextDroid and lists himself of the CEO of a "stealth mode robotics company" on LinkedIn. Tolkoff told Gizmodo now wasn't the best time to talk. It should be noted that before Aurora Innovation came out of "stealth mode," some employees said they worked for "Stealthy McStartup" on LinkedIn.

The Tribune-Review also reached out to Tolkoff and to three members of the NextDroid team who said on LinkedIn they work in Pittsburgh. No response yet.

If confirmed, NextDroid would join Uber, Delphi, Argo AI, Aurora Innovation and likely other stealth companies in Pittsburgh working on autonomous car technology.

©2017 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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