Uber’s self-driving car unit was burning $20 million a month
Uber thought it would have 75,000 autonomous vehicles on the roads this year and be operating driverless taxi services in 13 cities by 2022, according to court documents unsealed last week. To reach those ambitious goals, the ridesharing company, which hopes to go public later this year, was spending $20 million a month on developing self-driving technologies.
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. As Uber prepares for its IPO later this year, the new details could prove an embarrassing reminder that the company is still trailing in its efforts to develop technology that founder Travis Kalanick called “existential” to Uber’s future.