An Uber executive says driverless cars will hit the road ‘sooner than you think’

Jeff Holden, chief product officer at Uber, took the stage at the Bloomberg Technology Conference in San Francisco on June 14th to talk about what’s next for the ride-sharing behemoth. Bottom line: Uber’s self-driving cars are coming “sooner than you think.” Holden described driverless cars as a major priority for Uber, and recalled an earlier conversation with CEO Travis Kalanick about why that’s the case. Holden remembers telling Kalanick, “Driverless is … basically a disruption wave in our rear-view mirror right now. That is not a situation where the technology is going to be evenly distributed. It’s going to be very proprietary. If somebody can build a driverless car, they’re going to have a massive economic advantage if they employ that in a fleet at scale.”

“Either we need to usher that in, or make a bet that somebody’s going to give it to us to plug into our fleet,” Holden said. “So we started building it.”