UBER CEO Says Company Will Buy Every Autonomous Tesla Made – (w/video)


Autonomous Drive Cars

Autonomous Drive Cars

Recently, Churchill Club hosted its Top 10 Tech Trends dinner.

Among the speakers was Steve Jurvetson, Tesla board member/investor.

Jurvetson spoke of (among other topics) autonomous vehicles:

“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.”

“[Autonomous technology] will offer you opportunities that are roughly 10 times better…With many fewer taxis than we have in New York today, you could get one of these within 30 seconds of wanting one, at a much lower cost per mile driven. It’s in fact more efficient than mass transit in urban and suburban environments, which is kind of amazing.”

But one statement from Jurvetson really stood out.  Jurvetson stated that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told him that “in 2020, if Tesla’s cars are autonomous, he’d want to buy all [500,000] of them.”

Jurvetson speaks throughout the entire video, but much of the autonomous drive talk happens after the 1 hour and 28-minute mark.

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48 Comments on "UBER CEO Says Company Will Buy Every Autonomous Tesla Made – (w/video)"

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This reads like a 1999 dot.com story, as Uber is burning $500 million a year and Tesla is burning $2 billion. Let’s first see if either company is even still in business by the time fully-autonomous cars are street legal, and then let’s see how Uber will finance such a purchase and why it would necessarily come from Tesla considering that both Audi and Daimler are far ahead of Tesla in this regard (with the upcoming 2016 E-Class being the new street-legal benchmark and Audi having demonstrated an empty race car driving at full speed on a track).

I agree many different variables are at play simultaneously in regulated capitalism. One major variable is the 2016 election, if Republicans take White House and Congress it could be the end of electric car industry.

Forty years of Incompetent Republican Economic Failure. Sure, lets commit suicide.

Electric cars will still exist without subsidies

American EV subsidies are in place as I type but there is only less than 1% of EV sales.

Killing the subsidies wouldn’t kill the industry. Tesla would survive since people buying a $100K car don’t factor in the $7500 tax-credit heavily.

But the affordable EV market would take a serious hit.

Not gonna happen. Jeez, their leading candidate is Donald Trump. LOL.

Steve Jurvetson was a VC funder of Tesla and has car #2 of the Model S line. One wonders if this was a “fashioned statement”.

Jag has lost 50% of sales since 2013.
I’ll bet “profitable” Jag goes bankrupt first.

With that kind of volume, you’d hope Tesla would build him a special Taxi version, more leg room, more head room, panoramic roof.

What ever would make the perfect Taxi.

Tesla won’t be losing $ 2 billion when the gigafactory is running and model x and tesla enery are out

I agree Uber is a bad model, will likely be bust in 5 yrs, replaced by a far cheaper, near free app.
These are already working in other countries and coming here soon.

The lies about money on the internet are so obvious.

You say $2 billion a year spent by Tesla.

Cash Flow statement from http://ir.teslamotors.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1564590-15-1031&CIK=1318605#TSLA-10K_20141231_HTM_ITEM_8

2014 Net loss $294,040,000
2013 Net loss $ 74,014,000
2012 Net loss $396,213,000

and that is cash flow not actual profit/loss because they have outstanding leases that would make those years a profit even if they stopped building cars today and just collected lease payments.

In case the number of zeros confuses you $2 billion would be

$2,000,000,000 or 7.85 times what they spend per year if you average 2012 to 2014.

So no, Tesla isn’t burning through Billions of dollars per year.

Their leases are a large part of the reason for the non-GAAP accounting that Tesla publicizes, but even using that they generally still show a loss. I really want Tesla to succeed, but they have to stop the losses.

Huh? Why would you want them to stop the losses?? Don’t you want them to keep spending as they can to build out the gigafactory and develop the ability to produce a less expensive battery and thus a less expensive EV on a much larger scale (100,000’s rather than 10,000’s)?

Stopping the investments and just sticking with high cost, low production cars in order to show a profit sooner would seem terribly short-sighted to me.

Thank you.

It gets really irritating seeing people describe a growth company that is re-investing all its profits in growth as “losing money”.

It’s crazy to characterize investing in the future as “losing” money. I’ll bet those same people wouldn’t describe investing in their retirement fund as “losing” money, yet it’s the same principle!

As long as they can at least break even on the cars they sell, they can keep burning investment money to build a gigafactory, install more superchargers, design a Model 3, etc. Those things are investments for the future and increase the value of the company.

The supercharger network is valued thing. It is the only charging network that allows people to easily drive an EV almost anywhere in the USA or Europe. I expect some other car companies to eventually say “Uncle” and license access to the Supercharger network. It is a big advantage over all the other EVs.

“2014 Net loss $294,040,000
2013 Net loss $ 74,014,000
2012 Net loss $396,213,000

and that is cash flow not actual profit/loss”

Nope Doug, what’s obvious is that you don’t know how to read financial statements. The figures you gave above ARE the actual net losses from the Income Statement, NOT cash flow!!! They are from the first line of the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows, which is net loss from the Income Statement before adjustments to determine the net cash used in operating activities. The net cash flow is the line at the bottom called “Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents.” To figure out cash burn you have to back out Cash Flows From Financing Activities from the net cash flow.

To determine cash burn you want to add up only
1) Cash Flows From Operating Activities; and
2) Cash Flows From Investing Activities;
while completely disregarding the Cash Flows From Financing Activities, which BTW includes $2,300,000,000 from the issuance of convertible debt in 2014.

($57,337,000)- Cash Flows From Operating Activities
($990,444,000) – Cash Flows From Investing Activities
($1,047,781,000) – Cash Burn

OK, but last time I checked 1 doesn’t equal 2.

even if you call it 1.047 that doesn’t round up to 2.

and if you look at the numbers for 2013 in the same way you suggest it is a net positive flow so 0 burn for 2013.

Personally I don’t care about Uber one way or the other, just as long as they pay cash for each Tesla as it rolls off the assembly line.
None of this 20% down and timely payments stuff.

Yikes, please fix the title, from ‘Made’ to ‘Make’, unless Tesla has already been making autonomous cars and Uber is going to buy all those.

That would be pretty awful if one company buys out all of Tesla’s production to turn around and rent to people for a much higher cost that it would to own. I don’t think that would be good for Tesla simply because then they are beholden to Uber, rather than being beholden to no one on the customer side.

He needs a lot of cars, what he actually doesn’t need is the P85, and P90D.

He’d need a special model, with the engines of the P70D, and the battery of the P90.

And if he’s serious, he’d go to Tesla and start the design process for a purpose built Taxi. A stretch version, more head and leg room, and taxi features.

So, Tesla could easily co-exist with a taxi fleet order.
Will everyone want to rent a car to drive them to work? It’s got to be less expensive than leasing, to attract people who need to drive to and from work.

So Uber claims it is better for drivers because it helps drivers earn more money than driving traditional taxis, when at the same time it is planning to eliminate all Uber drivers in the future and replace them with autonomous Teslas. Color me shocked. Ef Uber.

sven – welcome to the 21st century. How do you think cars…planes and many consumer products are made that you use? This is just the next step in the automation evolution.

We have to be careful that this automation revolution doesn’t make everyone homeless and jobless. In that if you have 100 million people out of work you are going to have a disaster that will make the French Revolution look like a volley ball game. We in the future might have to pass laws to allow people to keep their jobs to avoid massive rampant joblessness.

People have worried ever since the dawn of the industrial revolution that machines are going to take everyone’s jobs away. That has never been the case though, every new technology shift has in turn created new job opportunities to replace the old ones.

The trouble is we are dealing with stuff coming into being that has never been seen before in human history like self thinking computers and full automation.

You also have to remember that a lot of the new jobs being created they all want a minimum of three years experience or a master’s degree. Also a lot of people don’t have large amounts time or money to go back to school to be retrained.

“… They all want a minimum of three years experience or a master’s degree.”

Not that the pay is any better for it, mind you.

“The trouble is we are dealing with stuff coming into being that has never been seen before in human history”

as was the case when the steam engine was invented, or any other invention for that matter.

“Someone out there” said:

“People have worried ever since the dawn of the industrial revolution that machines are going to take everyone’s jobs away. That has never been the case though…”

Certainly when the Luddite movement started in 1811, that wasn’t the case. Displacement of workers by automation was more than made up in increased productivity, and overall the number of even better paying jobs increased.

But if you look at the decline of manufacturing jobs in the USA, and the shift away from manufacturing to much lower paying service jobs over the past 30 years or so, I think it’s safe to say that it is now happening. Part of that is exporting jobs to other countries, but another part of it is that, in the past three decades and looking forward to the future, automation really is costing people jobs.

IDK – What I’m saying is that Uber is being deceptive and underhanded. In NYC, Uber has launched a huge TV & radio media blitz before a city council vote that touts how they create jobs for drivers and help drivers earn more money. At the same time, Uber is planning on eliminating all Uber drivers and replacing the with automated Teslas. Don’t you see that Uber is duplicitous?

Uber: Your drivers are our partners, until we throw them under the bus.



News Flash…become the owner of autonomous taxis and reap the profits.

Make more money, less than minimum wage, but if you’re doing nothing, “more money”, Oh, and no car insurance for you, no accident insurance, you pay the gas, and maintenance.

It’s a job for suckers, people who flunked 3 grade math.

I don’t like Uber and I’m worried about their business model of making everyone contractors so they get to pay no benefits low wages and get people to use their own cars. I’m glad the state of California is slapping them with a 7 million dollar fine for breaking labor laws.

Uber (and its ilk) isn’t likely to survive in any recognizable shape more than 3-5 years. Their business model isn’t scalable, and is outright illegal in many jurisdictions outside the US.

Take virtually any large city in the world — any significant transportation system is either city-owned or heavily municipally regulated, just like there are no private electricity or water pipe networks.

And by “heavily regulated” I mean the municipality will determine how many Uber-type drivers will be allowed on the road, how long their shifts are, what their cars need to provide and what the fares are.

There is something else that people are overlooking jumping for joy about getting rid of human drivers. And that is humans are a determent to vandalism. A example is on the Miami subway on the part with humans attending it is very clean. On the driver less human less section of it people pee all over the place like animals. Now think of what people will try doing when they get into a car with no driver to keep a eye on them or tell them know. Those cars are going to be like driving porta potties.

Disgusting, but true. :p

Cue full surveillance within the autonomous cars to hold people responsible for their behavior and prevent this.

Oh boy, my autonomous car will drive me to the Robot Hotel, where I can watch Battle Bots on T.V.

That robot hotel is creepy. But I bet it will attract some really shady people. In that there would be no one to rat on someone wanting to sell drugs or other shady things.

Autonomous hotels exist already (at least in France that I know of), I used them often : you make your reservation on line, your credit card will open the hotel door (nobody there), your bedroom door, the collective restrooms-showers are all automated: they self-clean entirely after each use, etc. They are great, cheap and no “more” “shaddy” activities than in any Parisian palace, I assure you …

And the beds change their own sheets and make themselves, I suppose? 😉

Don’t lie… we all know you’d be watching robot pr0n….

Yep, me and Bender.

“It’s in fact more efficient than mass transit in urban and suburban environments, which is kind of amazing”

Really? Everybody on the subway system at any point in time, instead, has their own car on the streets of NYC…yeah, right…real efficient…at crippling commerce, maybe…

“With many fewer taxis than we have in New York today, you could get one of these within 30 seconds of wanting one…”

Well, that’s even more Ludicrous™ than claiming Uber would buy Tesla’s entire (projected) output of ~500,000 per year in 2020. In fact, one could easily demonstrate it’s physically impossible to average a 30 second response time without having an absurdly large number of excess vehicles just cruising around looking for fares at all hours.