Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick recently said that when Tesla Motors’ vehicles become fully autonomous, he is interested in buying every one of them.
The comments were relayed by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson during last month’s Top 10 Tech Trends dinner, as reported by Charged EVs. Uber is a ride service that swaps fleet-owned taxis and professional drivers for crowd-sourced drivers who use their own car to chauffer passengers.
According to Jurvetson, in a recent conversation Kalanick told him that “in 2020, if Tesla’s cars are autonomous, he’d want to buy all of them.”
Jurvetson himself is a big supporter of self-driving cars – especially on an electrified vehicle – and believes that the technology is one of the most important upcoming trends.
“By 2020 we will no longer debate the inevitability of autonomous electric vehicles when we first experience the convenience and efficiency of urban autonomous driving services,” said Jurvetson.
“For those of us who have a chance to be in [an autonomous vehicle] … you’ll never go back. I believe they are already safer than my parents, and I would trust my kids with them. And they’re just going to get better,” he said.
Jurvetson said he is predicting a strong future for a taxi service, such as Uber, that uses electric cars.
“The opportunity here is quite amazing. Initially they’ll be low-speed services, 25 mph or less, in urban settings, something like a robo-Uber or a robo-Lift. They’ll be feathered into those services of course as well, not just new entrants that are doing it.
“And what it will offer is unprecedented efficiency: both fuel efficiency, timing efficiency. The safety concerns that people mentioned would of course go away. It will be the ultimate future.”
More of Jurvetson’s comments on self-driving electric taxis can be seen in the video above (starting at about 1 hour, 28 minutes) along with the full panel discussion from the dinner.
Photo credit: Twitter screenshot via user @ubertesla, an Uber service in Ottowa, Canada.