Uber faces competition challenge from investor Google

Article by Christian A., on February 6, 2015

Uber, the app-based transportation company, may soon find one of its biggest investors as one of its largest rivals. Google Ventures, the tech giant's venture capital arm, invested $258 million in Uber in August 2013 and injected more less than a year later. As part of the investment, David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer and senior vice president of corporate development, has been on Uber’s board of directors since 2013.

Google is currently getting ready to roll out its own Uber-like service, probably in conjunction with its driverless car project. Drummond has alredy informed Uber's board of this possibility, according to a person privy to the board.

Likewise, Uber executives have already seen screenshots of what seems to be a ride-sharing app used by Google employees. The source told Bloomberg that the Uber board is now trying to decide whether to ask Drummond to step down from his post.

On the other hand, Techcrunch has reported that Uber has commenced plans to open its own research facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to develop its autonomous vehicle technology.

The report also said Uber has tapped more than 50 scientists from Carnegie Mellon University and the affiliated National Robotics Engineering Center.

Google recently disclosed that the driverless car technology in development within its Google X research lab could be ready for widespread use from two to five years.

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