Mar 13, 2019

Uber's self-driving car unit lost $20 million a month. That's normal.

Photo: Faris Hadziq/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Newly unsealed court documents reveal that Uber's self-driving car unit was burning through $20 million a month in the run-up to this year's expected IPO.

The bottom line: Self-driving cars require billions of dollars of investment, with no guarantee of success. Many companies will lose their shirt.

"The figures, dating back to 2016, paint a picture of a company desperate to meet over-ambitious autonomy targets and one that is willing to spend freely, even recklessly, to get there," TechCrunch's Mark Harris reports.

My thought bubble: What's the big deal?

Go deeper: Lyft beats Uber to IPO as ride-hailing rivalry heats up

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The race to catch Nike's Vaporfly shoe before the 2020 Olympics

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Four months ago, on the very same weekend, Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run a marathon in under two hours, and fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei shattered the women's marathon record.

Why it matters: Kipchoge and Kosgei were both wearing Nike's controversial Vaporfly sneakers, which many believed would be banned because of the performance boost provided by a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole that acted as a spring and saved the runner energy.

Go deeperArrow39 mins ago - Sports

Reassessing the global impact of the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economists are rethinking projections about the broader economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak after a surge of diagnoses and deaths outside Asia and an announcement from a top CDC official that Americans should be prepared for the virus to spread here.

What's happening: The coronavirus quickly went from an also-ran concern to the most talked-about issue at the National Association for Business Economics policy conference in Washington, D.C.

Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.