Uber announced Monday it was selling its self-driving unit, Advanced Technologies Group, to Aurora Innovation, but CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he doesn’t believe the company is giving up its self-driving play.
“What’s crucial is for us to have access to the very best and leading autonomous technology out there,” Khosrowshahi said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “What we want to make sure is as that technology is developed, it’s developed for Uber network and is available for the Uber network at scale.”
Uber’s co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick had viewed self-driving as an essential investment, saying in 2016 he believed the world would shift to autonomous vehicles. The company poured funds into the unit, but it brought high costs and safety challenges.
An Uber car equipped with cameras and sensors drives the streets of Washington, DC, on January 24, 2020.
Eric Baradat | AFP | Getty Images
As part of the deal, Khosrowshahi will join the Aurora’s board, and the ride-sharing giant will invest $400 million into the company.
“What this deal does is essentially bring two leading teams together in the autonomous space,” Khosrowshahi said. “It achieves everything we thought was crucial and it creates a leading pure play in the space so we are very exciting about making this happen.”
The deal, expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, values ATG at approximately $4 billion. Aurora is being valued at $10 billion in the transaction, according to a person familiar with the terms of the deal.