American ride hailing company, Uber is preparing to sell off its self-driving car department to Aurora, which is an autonomous vehicle start up. With the development, the five year long efforts of developing self-driving vehicles will come to an end. The development came to a stand-still after it faced by a litigation and also a fatal crash.
The ride-hailing company will be taking a 26 percent stake in the autonomous vehicle start-up and is also expected to invest $400. Aurora is a start-up that makes software for autonomous vehicles. Uber has also listed Amazon as one of its investors. Chris Urmson, the CEO of Aurora had earlier led the self-driving car program by Google. Aurora and Uber have said that they have joined hands to have a strategic partnership that will deploy self-driving cars which are powered by Aurora and will be available on the Uber app.
It was in 2015, when Uber had started off its efforts towards the self-driving cars in Pittsburgh. The operation was called as the Uber ATG (Advanced Technologies Group) which had about 40 researchers. The ride hailing company had believed that the development of the self-driving cars was necessary for the company to survive and saw the future as the self-driving cars would make the cars driven by human expensive as well as irrelevant. Travis Kalanick the founder of Uber during an interview in 2014 had said that if the company does not go that way, then it is not going to exist anyway. The founder added that that is how technology and progress work and that they need to find ways to change the world.
During the pandemic, the company cut nearly 25 percent of its staff with an expectation that it would help to reduce the expenses and lead to its plans to be profitable in 2021. In 2017, Google’s self-driving company Waymo had sued Uber alleging theft of intellectual property and trade secret.
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