Google is developing its own car-sharing app, while Uber is building its own self-driving cars, setting the two partner companies on a potential collision course.
Google has a more than $250 million investment in the taxi service, but the new developments mean the two businesses will be encroaching on each other’s territory.
Google had shown Uber its own car-sharing app. That is expected to use Google’s driverless cars, according to a Bloomberg report.
Uber executives have seen screenshots of the app, which is currently being used internally, the report said.
Meanwhile, Uber’s move into self-driving cars shows how important the technology is likely to become.
While Uber did not mention practical uses of the technology in its announcement of the new project, the self-driving cars could ultimately replace Uber’s fleet of taxi drivers.
Uber’s self-driving car project is part of a strategic partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, which will see the creation of the Uber Advanced Technologies Center.
The partnership will see university staff work with Uber employees to “research and development, primarily in the areas of mapping and vehicle safety and autonomy technology”.
Google has been working on autonomous cars for some time. It revealed the first working prototype in December.