Tesla is not the only automaker working on a fully autonomous vehicle, but it already has at least one potential client in Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. The Uber CEO said his company will buy all the autonomous vehicle if the EV maker is able to build them by 2020, according to a report from Charged EVs. The statement from Kalanick might be true, but autonomous vehicles are still far from reality.
Uber to buy all Tesla self-driving vehicles
The statement does not come directly from Kalanick, but from Steve Jurvetson, an early Tesla investor and board member. During a recent Top 10 Tech Trends dinner in San Jose, Jurvetson noted that the Uber CEO had told him, if Tesla is able to make fully-functioning autonomous vehicle by 2020, his company would buy all of them.
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During the event, summarizing the benefits of self-driving technology developed by Tesla, Jurvetson said the technology is an ideal way to minimize traffic gridlock and to ensure people can move efficiently with safety.
Referring them to as “robocars,” Jurvetson said “I believe they are already safer than my parents,” adding “and I would trust my kids with them.”
Autonomous vehicles, are they the future?
Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, already declared that the company plans to build 500,000 cars per year by 2020. The question is how many of those will be self-driving vehickes.
With autonomous vehicles, people could order a ride from Uber, and be transported directly to their destination in the vehicle. While other company’s business models use drivers for transportation of goods or people, Uber assumes that drivers are an expense. Moreover, self-driving cars are the best alternative to all those driver expenses. Aside from betting on Tesla, Uber has also formed a few other partnerships to work on autonomous driving technologies.
Google is also working on self-driving vehicles. Although the self-driving innovation is moving along nicely, but theere are still legal and safety issues to be addressed, and safety is the topmost priority.
As of 11.50 am EDT Wednesday, Tesla shares were down 3.95% at $257.31, but year to date the stock is up almost 16%.