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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is in advanced talks to sell its Uber Elevate unit to Joby Aviation, Axios has learned from multiple sources. A deal could be announced later this month.

Between the lines: Uber Elevate was formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, but to date has been most notable for its annual conference devoted to the nascent industry.

The sale comes as Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi works to attain profitability, and follows partial sales of Uber's money-losing freight and self-driving units.

  • Axios had previously reported that Uber was seeking a buyer.
  • Elevate had a helicopter service running in New York City, but suspended those operations during the pandemic. At last check, the unit had around 80 employees.

Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Joby Aviation had previously partnered with Uber Elevate, and has raised over $700 million from firms like Toyota, Intel and JetBlue.

An Uber spokesman declined comment.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that the deal was signed.

Go deeper

Dec 16, 2020 - Economy & Business

Lyft to offer self-driving taxis in several cities in 2023

A self-driving Lyft in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Motional

Autonomous vehicles will be available on Lyft's ride-sharing network in multiple U.S. cities beginning in 2023, Lyft and self-driving tech company Motional announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It represents a potential milestone in the commercial rollout of self-driving technology, which AV developers say will lead to safer, lower-cost transportation.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."