Menu
Uber to develop self-driving cars, butting heads with Google

Uber to develop self-driving cars, butting heads with Google

The companies look set to become rivals, with Google reportedly building a ride-hailing app

Uber's mobile app.

Uber's mobile app.

Uber is joining forces with Carnegie Mellon University to open a research center that will develop self-driving cars, expanding its business in a new direction and opening a potential rift with Google.

The Uber Advanced Technologies Center, near the CMU campus, will do work primarily on mapping, vehicle safety and "autonomy technology," Uber said Monday.

The technologies should advance Uber's mission of bringing "safe, reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere," the company said.

It may also spark a battle with Google, which already develops self-driving cars and recently started work on its own ride-hailing app that will compete with Uber's, according to a Bloomberg report Monday, which cited one unnamed source.

With competing projects under way, friction between the companies could be brewing. And as Bloomberg notes, that could be bad news for Uber. The company's service is built on Google Maps, and if Uber were to lose access to the software it could be left with a less desirable alternative like Apple Maps or Yahoo Maps.

Google declined to comment on the idea it was developing its own ride-hailing service. It downplayed the idea in a tweet directed at Bloomberg which read: "We think you'll find Uber and Lyft work quite well. We use them all the time."

As for Uber's autonomous vehicles, it didn't give a timeline for when its R&D projects might be ready for commercial use. Google has said the public could be using its self-driving cars in two to five years.

Uber's partnership with CMU will create a forum for it to work with the university's faculty, staff and students, it said, both on campus and at CMU's National Robotics Engineering Center.

The agreement includes funding from Uber for faculty chairs and graduate fellowships, the company said. It has already hired more than 50 scientists from CMU and the robotics center, according to a report in TechCrunch.

It's the latest example of an online company partnering closely with academics to work on advanced technologies. Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all been hiring leading academics to work on fields like artificial intelligence, robotics and computer vision.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags UberInternet-based applications and servicesGoogleemerging technologyMapsmobilesocial mediainternet

Slideshows

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...

HP has recognised its top performing partners in New Zealand at the second annual 2016 HP Partner Awards, held at a glittering bash in Auckland. The HP Partner Awards recognises and celebrates excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of its top partners. This year also saw the addition of several new categories, resulting in 11 companies winning across 11 award categories.

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...
Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland

Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland

Ingram Micro outlined its core focuses for 2017 at Showcase in Auckland, bringing together the channel for a day of engaging keynotes, compelling breakout sessions and new technologies.

Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland
Show Comments