Yesterday, Uber announced the sale of its Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) to Aurora Innovation. Don’t let the drab name fool you: ATG was Uber’s big bet on a fleet of self-driving vehicles.
Why Uber Lets Go:
- Self-driving cars are expensive. The division burned about $ 500 million annually and should run out of money next year.
- The walloped ride pandemic is hailing. Not that Uber had a profitable quarter ahead of Covid, but recent challenges have forced it to put some Moonshot projects on the chopping block. Uber is also reportedly unloading its air taxi division.
Who is aurora
It’s a young Silicon Valley startup working on self-driving semis and taxis, founded by Chris Urmson, whom LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman referred to as the “Henry Ford of autonomous vehicles”.
- As part of the deal, Uber will invest $ 400 million in Aurora and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will join the board of directors. It will eventually use Aurora’s self-driving cars in its service as well.
Big picture: Several self-driving startups downsized or closed their businesses during the pandemic. Experts predict further consolidation.
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