Investors could pump $1bn into Uber self-driving cars

Author: 
AFP San Francisco
ID: 
1552572528884311100
Thu, 2019-03-14 03:54

SAN FRANCISCO: A group of investors including SoftBank Group are
in talks to invest $1 billion or more into Uber’s self-driving
car unit, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Word of a potential infusion of cash valuing the Uber autonomous
vehicle division at from $5 billion to $10 billion comes as the
ride-hailing startup steers toward a hotly-anticipated stock market
debut.
Under terms being discussed, SoftBank’s Vision Fund and other
investors, including a car maker, would take a minority stake in
Uber’s self-driving vehicle unit, according to the Journal.
Led by Japan’s Masayoshi Son, the Vision Fund is heavily invested
by Saudi Arabia.
The Journal described the “late-stage” talks as fluid, with the
possibility a deal might not be reached.
Uber has been in a race with Google-owned Waymo and a host of other
companies, including major automakers, to develop self-driving
vehicles.
Waymo said this month that it would sell a key innovation to
companies that don’t compete with its autonomous cars.
The California-based unit of Google parent Alphabet will offer its
lidar sensors, which measure distance with pulses of laser light,
to companies in robotics, security, agricultural technology and
other sectors.
The move could offer a new revenue stream for Waymo as it invests
in bringing “robo taxis” to market, broadening the availability
of the 3D lidar sensors it has been developing since 2011.
Uber is aiming beyond car rides to becoming the “Amazon of
transportation” in a future where people share, instead of own,
vehicles.
If all goes to plan, commuters could ride an e-scooter to a transit
station, take a train, then grab an e-bike, share a ride or take an
e-scooter at the arriving station to complete a journey — all
using an Uber app on a smartphone.
Uber’s platform moves cargo as well as people, with a
“Freight” service that connects truckers with shippers in a way
similar to how drivers connect with people seeking rides.
Uber is also seeing growing success with an “Eats” service that
lets drivers make money delivering meals ordered from
restaurants.

Main category: 

With IPO due, Uber aims to be ‘Amazon of
transportation’Daimler, BMW to invest $1.13 billion in venture to
rival Uber
Source: FS – All-News-Economy
Investors could pump bn into Uber self-driving cars