Uber is in talks to sell its autonomous vehicle unit to startup competitor Aurora Innovation, TechCrunch reported. Eighteen months ago, Uber’s self-driving car unit, Uber Advanced Technologies Group (ARG), was valued at US$7.25 billion following a US$1 billion investment from Toyota, DENSO, and SoftBank’s Vision Fund.
In March 2019, Uber avoided criminal charges in the 2018 death of Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, the first-ever death involving an autonomous car. Federal investigators found that Uber, the safety driver behind the wheel of the car, and the state of Arizona all shared a portion of the blame for the incident. The accident ended Uber’s test program in Tempe, but the company resumed testing in Pittsburgh, where UberATG is headquartered.
And according to Uber’s most recent earnings report, while its “ATG and other technologies” segment had revenues of US$25 million in the third quarter, the segment saw a net loss of US$303 million for the nine months ended September 30, according to TechCrunch.
Aurora was founded in 2017 by Chris Urmson, the former lead engineer for Google’s self-driving project. Much of its focus has been on developing technology for self-driving trucks.
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