Less than 24 hours after Google showed off its first ground-up self-driving vehicle, the CEO of Uber confirmed what we all assumed: its on-demand car service will go autonomous.
Speaking at the Code conference – the same place Google's Sergey Brin debuted its squishing pod mobile – Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick said, "When there's no other dude in the car, the cost of Uber becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle."
Considering Google Ventures, the company's investment arm, put $258 million into Uber last year, and you can see where this is going.
According to sources speaking with TechCrunch, Uber will be part of Google's autonomous vehicle pilot program, although that's not going to roll out for a while.
Google's Uber-love has been building, with the released of an Android-powered driver app for Uber and now the ability to call up an Uber car directly through Google Maps. Just as importantly, by removing the driver from the Uber equation, the company can eliminate those pesky insurance issues it's been having, while simultaneously opening up another can of worms when it comes to liability and regulatory questions.
As for the drivers that will be out of work in the over 100 cities around the world, Kalanick says he'll have to have a hard conversation.
"I'd say 'Look, this is the way of the world, and the world isn't always great'", says Kalanick "We all have to find ways to change with the world."