Nov 15, 2019 - Technology

Uber's driverless technology strategy

Uber cars lined up

Uber self-driving test vehicles in Pittsburgh. Photo: Angelo Merendino/AFP via Getty Images

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says the first AVs could be deployed on the ride-hailing network within three to five years, but other companies will bear the cost of owning and maintaining those self-driving cars.

Why it matters: Driverless technology is a key to profitability for Uber, which has warned investors to expect losses of almost $3 billion this year. But if all it does is replace the cost of a human driver with the overhead from managing its own fleet of self-driving cars, it won't be any closer to achieving a profit.

  • "Marriott doesn't own a single hotel, right? There are these financial entities that own the hotels. Marriott is the brand," Khosrowshahi tells Axios.
  • "There are going to be financial players ... who own these cars. There will be operating companies that take care of [them], refuel them, repair them, etc. And then we want to be the operating system that drives the car."

Catch up fast: Khosrowshahi talked about financials, autonomy, rider safety, unions and politics during a wide-ranging "Axios on HBO" interview with Dan Primack and Mike Allen.

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