A group of key investors is in talks to invest $1 billion or more into Uber's self-driving car unit, AFP reported on Thursday March 14th, citing the Wall Street Journal.
Word of a potential infusion of cash, valuing the Uber autonomous vehicle division at from $5 billion to $10 billion, comes as the ride-hailing startup steers toward a hotly-anticipated stock market debut.
Under terms being discussed, a huge number of players are creating alliances and partnerships, like Toyota, Softbank, and other investors to take a minority stake in Uber's self-driving vehicle unit, according to the Journal.
Uber has been in a race against Google-owned Waymo and a score of other firms, including major automakers, to develop self-driving vehicles. In this context, Waymo announced this month that it would sell a key innovation to companies that don't compete with its autonomous cars.
Uber is aiming beyond car rides to becoming the "Amazon of transportation" in a future where people share, instead of own, vehicles.
If all goes according to plan, commuters could ride an e-scooter to a transit station, take a train, then grab an e-bike, share a ride or take an e-scooter at the arrival station to complete a journey, all using an Uber app on a smartphone.
Uber is also achieving growing success with an "Eats" service that delivers meals ordered from restaurants.