Udacity Planning Spin-Off Company to Build Driverless Taxis
【Summary】Udacity, a Silicon Valley online education startup, has set its sights on taking on Uber by creating a spin-off company that will develop autonomous taxis.
With the inception of ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft, regular taxi companies have faced an uphill battle when it comes to staying afloat. Prices, availability, and ease of use are a few reasons why Lyft and Uber have been able to dominate in the ride-sharing segment.
Other companies, even ones that have no experience in the automotive segment, have noticed just how popular ride-sharing companies have become and are looking to get into the market. Udacity, a Silicon Valley online education startup, will create a spin-off company that will focus on developing driverless taxis, reports Automotive News.
Autonomy First, Ride-Sharing Second
While the news might come off as a little confusing, as Udacity currently makes higher education more accessible and affordable, but has no experience in the automotive industry. That, though, isn't exactly true.
One of Udcaity's co-founders, Sebastian Thrun, as Automotive News points out, was also one of the co-founders for the Google X research lab, which led to the development of Google's autonomous vehicle. So Udacity, while not exactly in its field of expertise, does have an individual that has the know-how behind how to make a self-driving vehicle.
Automotive News reports that Udacity's new company will be named Voyage Auto and, instead of building its own driverless vehicle, would focus on retrofitting existing cars. "I'm starting a new thing with great friends call Voyage Auto, wrote CEO Oliver Cameron on his LinkedIn page, reports the outlet. "We're deploying autonomous taxis to real users very, very soon."
Cameron, as Automotive News claims, is a former vice president of engineering and product at Udacity. He continued on his LinkedIn page to state, "Voyage is building an extremely cheap and safe autonomous taxi service."
While being a spin-off from Udacity, Voyage will operate independently from the education-focused company and will hold an undisclosed stake in it, as well reports Automotive News.
Udacity Has The Money, People, And Skill
Currently, Udacity is worth more than $1 billion, as Automotive News reports, and is betting on the fact that its vocational courses for professionals and extensive work for large companies like Google will help Voyage stand out in the ride-sharing segment. The company does offer an education program for developers interested in autonomous vehicles. According to Udacity, the program has been followed by approximately 6,600 students worldwide.
Automotive News reports that BMW, Delphi, Mercedes-Benz, and Nvidia have all hired students from Udacity's driverless vehicle program. Clearly, Udacity not only knows how to teach developers to make the next-generation of automobiles, but also what to teach them, as well.
Udacity isn't the only company to enter the ride-sharing segment recently, as startups Juno, Gett, and Via announced its plans to enter the market last year. All companies are betting on producing self-driving taxis instead of solidifying their role as a ride-sharing company first. With both Uber and Lyft working on autonomous taxis, other startups, including Udacity, will have an uphill battle to enter the segment and rise to the top.
via: Automotive News
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
Mercedes-Benz EQS Gets an EPA Estimated Range of 350 Miles
2022 Ford Mustang V8 Loses 10 Horsepower Because of Emissions Regulations
AAA Study Finds Driver-Assist Systems Struggle in Bad Weather
J.D. Power Study Finds That New Owners Don’t Use a Lot of Advanced Tech Features
Semiconductor Chip Shortage Could Extend Well Into 2022
Tesla Moving Its Headquarters to Texas, a State Where it Cannot Sell its Vehicles Directly to Customers
Ford Spices Up 2022 Mustang With New Appearance Packages
Report: Rivian Continued to Steal Secrets, Staff After Tesla Lawsuit
- Volvo Cars to Take Full Control of its Chinese Business From Automaker Geely as it Explores a Possible IPO
- The Refreshed P7 Smart Sedan From Tesla Challenger XPeng Revealed in New Patent Images
- Ford Unveils the Mach-E Extended Range RWD SE Model for the China Market, its Second Subsidized EV
- The 2021 Electric Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S Review: An EV for the Masses
- Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk Says New Chip Factories Will End the Global Shortage in the Industry by Next Year
- Ford Spices Up 2022 Mustang With New Appearance Packages
- Ford Motor Co Poaches Former Tesla, Apple Car Exec to Lead its Connected Vehicle & Embedded Systems Development
- 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV Unveiled With 100 Miles of Range
- General Motors Confirms New Commercial Electric Truck and Van
- HAAS Alert Raises $5 Million to Expand its Cellular Emergency Vehicle Alert Network in the U.S.