Multinational taxi service Uber is likely to form a large fleet of driverless cars in a bid to cut down on costs and stop its profit margins shrinking. Quoting industry sources, Reuters says that Uber has planned a drastic revamp of its fleet, focusing more on technology driven 'autonomous cars' that do not need drivers to run them.
The move is expected to help save the company thousands of dollars otherwise being spent on paying drivers for their services, sources add. Industry sources who do not want to be identified were quoted by Reuters as saying: "They [Uber] wanted autonomous cars… It seemed like they were shopping around."
Driverless autonomous vehicles – once the stuff of science-fiction – have become a reality, thanks to Google's move to invest a fortune in the development of prototypes currently being tested in the US.
According to analysts at Exane BNP Paribas, the automated driving technology market is set to touch $25bn (£17.28bn) mark by 2020 as "vehicle intelligence" becomes "the key differentiating factor", says Reuters. But there are regulatory hurdles to be overcome before driverless vehicles become a permanent fixture on the city roads across the globe, adds Reuters.
Uber was set up in 2009 by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick. In its first year, the company received $200,000 in seed funding and an additional $1.25m the same year.