Uber Has No Future with Self-Driving Cars

Lyft and Uber need self-driving cars. The problem is they aren’t making progress themselves in them. Uber’s attempt to make in-house self-driving cars has been pathetic, bordering on irresponsible.

After wasting so much Softbank money, Uber will likely end up selling its self-driving unit to Aurora . It’s really criminal how this company has operated.

Eighteen months ago, Uber’s self-driving car unit, Uber Advanced Technologies Group, was valued at $7.25 billion following a $1 billion investment from Toyota, DENSO and SoftBank’s Vision Fund.

But let’s get real, this unit never stood a chance in a competitive field where specialized startups, the automotive industry and companies like Waymo One and Tesla have a huge stake in the future.

Uber’s always been a badly managed company with a disgraceful culture. But its Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), the division of the company that is powering its self-driving cars, is a big story in failure. This was always a disaster waiting to happen.

How so? After spending billions to develop a self-driving car, Uber is nowhere close to getting a car that can drive reliably for any length of time. Meanwhile, the unit is riven by infighting. Critics question why CEO Dara Khosrowshahi hasn’t held the team accountable, according to The Information.

Uber was always going to be a first-mover scam, and finally in 2021 Travis Kalanick’s Cloud Kitchen startup will look a whole lot better than Uber. Uber ATG is one of the most unusual — and certainly most controversial — self-driving teams. Not to mention that very public death that shrouded the unit in abject failure.

Strangely, Uber is the company best poised to monetize robocar technology, but it won’t be a leader in the tech, ever. Uber has cut corners at every possible step of its massive global expansions and the copy-cat companies that emerged have been more or less better than Uber, if without the lingo brand name.

Uber has had to pull out of unprofitable places and is always in legal controversy. Its legacy of abuse follows it like a black cat of fake promising startups.

Without UberEats during the pandemic, Uber might already have failed. It has been shopping ATG and that’s a red flag for the company as a whole. Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick felt it was essential. But what did Kalanick really know about how competitive and unprofitable the space would be? Just another founder lying through his teeth doing a Silicon Valley scam. Softbank, for all their lack of due diligence, bought into the fraud early.

Uber needs self-driving cars to survive, but it won’t even end up using its own tech. If that’s not a failure of a business model, I don’t know what is. That Uber’s stock is $50 is a credit to how messed up the stockmarket is today with regards to reality.

Uber wasted $2.5 Billion on ATG. An utter and complete waste. Two years ago, Uber’s business model could be described as an “all of the above approach,” a bet on generating revenue from all forms of transportation, including ride-hailing, micromobility, logistics, package and food delivery and someday even autonomous robotaxis. Today, it looks like what the cat dragged in.

After lawsuits, the Otto acquisition and the fatality and huge costs with poor results, ATG is mired in abject failure. So people got rich along the way and burned the company. Uber Freight acquired Postmates and consolidation and better competitors are going to hurt Uber’s prospects in the future.

Uber ATG has been the company’s last big, expensive holding. Uber ATG holds a lot of long-term promise and high present-day costs. ATG just means Uber burns cash at a rate it cannot keep doing. Last valued at $7.25 billion, the thing is not even worth $2 billion.

You want a swan song, ATG? The self-driving car unit “has simply failed to evolve and produce meaningful progress in so long that something has to be said before a disaster befalls us”. Uber is a disaster because it was managed in such a distasteful way.

How many Silicon Valley startup frauds did Uber’s culture clone? How many hungry wolf Chinese startups? If the culture is toxic, how do you expect the product to turn out?

Goodbye ATG, it was nice knowing you. RIP, Elaine Herzberg. Aurora is backed by Amazon. Uber pretending it was the next Amazon was beyond ridiculous and we know what Travis is today. Sorry, Pittsburgh, you are about to lose a lot of jobs.

In its S-1 document, Uber said it incurred $457 millions of research and development expenses for its ATG and “other Technology Programs” initiatives. Uber burned cash and the world ended, so what’s next for shiny Unicorns?

Similar Posts