Uber is reportedly in talks to sell its self-driving car division, or UberATG, to its emerging rival Aurora Innovation.
This would mean – if it occurs – the end of the road for the self-driving car division, which amounted to $ 7.25 billion last July, but is suffering from persistent problems.
The terms of the deal are still unknown, and sources say: The two companies have been in talks since October.
And in March of 2019, Uber avoided criminal charges over the 2018 death of Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, the first death ever involving an autonomous car.
Federal investigators found that Uber, the safety driver behind the wheel, and the state of Arizona all shared part of the blame for the accident.
The accident ended the Uber test program in Tempe, but the company continued testing in Pittsburgh, where the self-driving car division is headquartered.
Uber’s advanced technology group, UberATG, participated in a trade secret lawsuit with its competitor Waymo, which is owned by Google, and Uber settled the case unexpectedly in February 2018.
While the UberATG and Other Technologies segment generated $ 25 million in revenue in the third quarter, the segment saw a net loss of $ 303 million for the nine months ended September 30th.
Uber said it incurred a $ 457 million loss due to research and development expenditures for Uber’s high-tech and other technology group initiatives, which include Uber Elevate.
Aurora Innovation was founded in 2017 by Chris Urmson, the former lead engineer of Google’s Autonomous Driving Project.
The company has placed great emphasis on developing fully autonomous driving packages, the core technology that allows vehicles to navigate highways and city streets without a human driver behind the wheel.
The startup’s most recent valuation came to about $ 2.5 billion, and Aurora Innovation said in July it was expanding its testing range of autonomous vehicles in Texas.
Uber’s public leap into autonomous car technology began in earnest in early 2015 when the company announced a strategic partnership with the National Center for Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University.