Automaker Reportedly Sought Deal With Uber On Autonomous Cars

Uber is said to have considered an autonomous car partnership, with reports that the company was approached by an automaker over a deal that would see the two work together on self-driving cars. The automaker has not been named and details of any potential discussions that may have taken place are also unclear at the moment, though it is said that the offer made was also to buy Uber's self-driving car division, which Uber executives are said to have promptly turned down.

While Uber has made some headway in its own efforts for autonomous vehicle technology, it's currently partnering with automakers for the vehicle portion as Uber doesn't actually manufacture any vehicles, while it's also currently wrapped up in court battles with Waymo over intellectual property pertaining to self-driving car technology, factors which may have been taken into consideration as Uber is said to have thought about partnering with the automaker on a joint venture for self-driving vehicles as opposed to just selling its unit.

While it's unknown what Uber plans to do with its autonomous vehicle efforts moving forward, whether it will continue to do things on its own or partner up, Uber is said to be holding off on any decision making in this area until it's done with Waymo in court and it has officially appointed a new CEO to take over for the former CEO Travis Kalanick. Beyond Uber's offer from the unnamed automaker, Uber was also recently said to have received investment offers from interested companies like SoftBank and Dragoneer Investment Group. More recently, one of Uber's early investors has reportedly suggested that the ride hailing company should merge with Tesla, another company which has been doing its own research on autonomous vehicles. If Uber isn't planning to make a decision until after it's found a CEO and is out of court over the Waymo case, it might be a little while before anything regarding this potential joint venture moves forward, as there's no telling how long it might take to find a permanent CEO, and the court case with Waymo could take months if not longer to finish up. That said, it's also possible that Uber could end up changing its mind and enter into a partnership before those issues are resolved.

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