Uber, Alphabet autonomous car rivalry heats up

Alphabet executive David Drummond quits Uber’s board

The race by companies to develop autonomous cars is making rivals out of old friends as is evident from the exit of Alphabet’s senior executive David Drummond from the board of Uber Technologies.

Alphabet is an investor in Uber through its venture capital arm GV, and from all appearances will continue to stay so. But it had become increasingly evident that the ride-hailing company’s efforts to build self-driving cars would put it in conflict with the aims of the Google Self-Driving Car Project, which has been one of the pioneers in the development of these autonomous vehicles.

On Monday, Alphabet said Drummond, its senior vice president for corporate development, had recently quit the board of Uber. GV will continue to be an investor in the ride-hailing company.

"I recently stepped down from Uber's board given the overlap between the two companies,” Drummond said in a statement issued on Monday. “GV remains an enthusiastic investor and Google will continue to partner with Uber,” Drummond added. He wished Uber CEO Travis Kalanick all the best for the future.

The development comes ahead of tests of self-driving cars carrying ride-hailing passengers, planned by Uber later this month on the streets of Pittsburgh in the U.S. A number of car and component makers are developing technology for self-driving cars that they are targeting at ride-hailing companies, and there have been rumors that Google may also target this market.

Ford said this month that it intends to have a high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle in commercial operation in a ride hailing or sharing service by 2021. General Motors has also invested US$500 million in ride-hailing company Lyft in a deal that could see them jointly developing a network of on-demand autonomous cars. Earlier on Monday, The Information reported that Uber had shut out Drummond from attending board meetings, quoting three people briefed about the arrangement.

Google cars have self-driven over 1.5 million miles and are out on the streets of cities like Mountain View, California and Austin, Texas.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?