Uber intends to collaborate with other autonomous driving companies

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The self-driving unit of Uber Technologies, the US-based ride-hailing service is looking to collaborate with other companies working on autonomous driving, the chief executive officer of the company said.

“Our view is that we will partner over a period of time with other autonomous providers,” Dara Khosrowshahi said when asked about reports that Uber is looking to sell its autonomous driving unit, Advanced Technologies Group (ATG).

He said Uber could give a broad customer base and useful data on profitable routes generated by its ride-hailing business to competitors, who have poured billions of dollars into the development of robotaxis.

Recent reports have suggested that Uber is in ongoing negotiations to sell its ATG unit to Aurora, an American self-driving car start-up, as Uber was looking for alternatives for the expensive unit, with fully autonomous cars still many years away.

Mr. Khosrowshahi refused to comment directly on the reports, but said Uber was seeking to build an open network and finance ATG both internally and externally.

“We’re going to be pursuing all paths forward here,” the CEO said.

In May, Mr. Khosrowshahi had said Uber was open to using technology from competitors in the industry.

ATG secured investment from external investors, including Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota Motor Corp and Softbank Group, a holding company based out of Japan, for approximately $1 billion and was valued at $7.25 billion earlier this year.

Mr. Khosrowshahi said it will take nearly 10 to 15 years until fully autonomous vehicles that no longer need human supervision become widely available and its progress depends on local regulations.