Uber Technologies is spending millions of dollars in order to open an engineering hub and carry out driverless car operations. This announcement indicates that the firm is not going to back up from autonomous vehicle development despite its recent setbacks.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber Technologies said that Uber is going to invest more than $150 in the next five years in order to enhance its ride-hailing technologies and to open an engineering hub in Toronto next year. In 2017, Uber started developing an artificial intelligence team in Toronto. Uber also said that it will hire 500 employees in the company in the next few years.
Dara Khosrowshahi said, “We recognize Canada’s commitment to innovation and the vibrancy of Toronto’s tech ecosystem. We want to support the innovation coming out of this great, diverse region.”
The new investment will enable new possibilities for Uber to enhance its work on self-driving technology, a sector in which the firm is behind than its competitors. Uber launched a self-driving car research hub in Toronto in 2017 and gave the position as head of the organization to Raquel Urtasun, who is an associate professor at the University of Toronto.
But, Uber’s self-driving car business stopped just after one of its automated SUVs killed a walker in Tempe, Arizona, in March. Due to this incident, the firm removed all the cars from the road, removed hundreds of drivers and closed its operations in Arizona, its autonomous testing hub.
Just after the Tempe smash, Khosrowshahi, who joined Uber a year ago, has examined various options which include more partnerships with companies building autonomous cars and the marketing strategy of the self-driving business. The new investment in Toronto states that the firm will continue to invest of its own in self-driving technology for the next few months.
Uber has also obtained $500 million investment from Toyota Motor Corp. Both the firms will collectively work together to develop self-driving cars. But, the firm still faces fights with regulators and local officials who have raised concerns over the safety of Uber’s program.
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Even after the six months of the accident, Uber has not resumed testing cars on public roads. But Khosrowshahi believes that they will be able to do testing by the end of 2018 after experiencing a safety overhaul.