Following a tumultuous few years for the taxi-hailing brand, Uber looks set to launch itself on the stock market with a lucrative investment of at least $1 billion. The reason for such investment, CNN Business reveals, is its forthcoming self-driving taxi service, which will be looking to make use of AI driving technology in the years to come.
It’s been reported by Uber that, ahead of their first foray into the public markets, both the SoftBank Vision Fund and Toyota had helped to inject a generous cash sum into the firm, which rounds up the value of the Uber Advanced Technologies Group to a cool $7.25 billion.
“This investment and our strong partnership with the Toyota Group are a testament to the incredible work of our ATG team to date, and the exciting future ahead for this important project, alongside great partners,” Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, advised in a statement.
“The development of automated driving technology will transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more livable.”
Toyota has previously invested at least $500 million into Uber in recent times, having themselves advised that they would be showing some commitment towards autonomous car technology. However, Uber is still a firm which has been dogged by certain controversies in recent years. Outside of concerns relating to workplace culture and driver vetting, an Uber SUV – a driverless unit – hit and killed a pedestrian in 2018. The company, however, was not pursued for criminal charges.
Despite problems Uber’s brand has had in the public eye since 2016, considerable faith in the brand continues to push it towards what will be an enormous float. Uber had only recently advised that they would be approaching the public market for the first time, and despite the company having recorded losses of $1.8 billion in 2018, there appear to be plenty of shareholders willing to push the brand as it launches its IPO.
Driverless or autonomous cars look set to become a common feature on our roads in years to come. While there are already some vehicles operating without drivers, the technology will take some time before it is easy to spot on roads and freeways across the world. Google have already entered the driverless car game, while Apple is allegedly considering its options. Will Uber lead the way in autonomous road technology? Let’s wait and see.