Daniel Susco
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Uber May Turn To Bitterest Rival To Fix Its Self-Driving Car Program

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In the wake of the tragic crash where a self-driving Uber vehicle killed a pedestrian in Arizona, the company was firmly shown the door by the governor’s office, leading to Uber deciding to just shutter its operations in the state. However, with all Uber put into its self-driving vehicle program (including a high-profile and very expensive lawsuit with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company), the company isn’t about to shrug and write it all off as a loss.


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Clearly, Uber now has a pretty big issue that its vehicles are viewed as lumbering death machines, roundly lambasted by critics, rivals, and even suppliers.

So, if you are Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, what do you do to overcome this?

Apparently, you take Waymo’s claim that its self-driving cars would have avoided the fatal collision as an invitation to the bargaining table.

During an interview at Recode’s Code Conference, Khosrowshahi said, “When we get back on the road, we have to be absolutely satisfied we’re getting back on the road in the safest manner possible. We’re having conversations with Waymo about putting their cars on our network. If something happens, great. If not, we can live with that, too.” He added that he would “welcome Waymo to put cars in our network,” and called the company an “incredible technology provider.”


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This would seem to be a pretty drastic reversal of the public relationship between the two companies, which has been highly contentious ever since the lawsuit where Waymo alleged that Uber had stolen confidential trade secrets about Waymo’s self-driving systems. This lawsuit ended with Uber agreeing to give Waymo 0.34% of its equity and to not use any of Waymo’s confidential information in its self-driving vehicles.

This could make sense in a company which has been desperately attempting to reform itself after the semi-ousting of former CEO Travis Kalanick amid a storm of scandal and controversy.

News Source: CNet

Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.