Uber in talks to sell its autonomous driving unit to self-driving startup Aurora

By: Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh is an active follower of world affairs, technology, an avid reader, and loves to play table tennis in… read more.
on Nov 15, 2020
  • Uber in talks to sell its autonomous driving unit to self-driving startup Aurora.
  • SoftBank Group and Toyota Motor are the two major investors in Uber ATG.
  • Aurora to expand development & testing of autonomous vehicles to Texas.

Sources confirmed on Friday that Uber Technologies (NYSE: UBER) is considering selling Uber ATG (Advanced Technologies Group) to Aurora, a self-driving car startup. Uber is also likely to take a stake in Aurora if it agrees to buy Uber’s autonomous driving unit. Talks are ongoing between the two companies, and a deal has not been finalised yet.

Uber jumped close to 2% in extended trading on Friday. Including the price action, shares of the company are now trading at £36.68 in the stock market versus a much lower £23.49 per share at the start of the year. In March, the stock had plummeted to as low as £11.23 per share as the Coronavirus restricted people to their homes.

SoftBank and Toyota are the two major investors in Uber ATG

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Uber ATG boasts Japan’s SoftBank Group and Toyota Motor as two of its most prominent investors. The autonomous driving unit raised £758 million last year from a consortium of investors. SoftBank valued Uber’s ATG at £5.49 billion in 2019.  

In a statement in the last week of September, Uber said it had its licence reinstated to operate in London.

ATG has been a source of massive cash burn for Uber. According to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, offloading its self-driving unit, Uber now intends to return its focus to its core business of ride-hailing and food delivery. Both Uber and Aurora are yet to comment on the news that was first reported by TechCrunch.

Aurora is one in dozens of other companies in the United States that are working on autonomous car systems. The startup aims at capitalising on the up and coming technology that has the potential to revolutionise the transportation industry at large.

Aurora to expand testing to Dallas-Fort Worth Area in Texas

As of July, Aurora was already testing its autonomous cars in Pittsburgh and San Francisco Bay Area. The company announced in July that it plans on expanding development of autonomous vehicles and testing to Dallas-Fort Worth Area in Texas.

In separate news from the U.S. auto industry, General Motors said it had recalled roughly 69 thousand Chevrolet Bolt EVs worldwide on potential fire risks.

Uber debuted on the NYSE at a per-share price of £31.50 in May 2019, but closed the year at a lower £22.86 per share. At the time of writing, the American company has a market cap of £63.64 billion.

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