The ride-hailing company reported $457 million in research and development expenses for its self-driving unit on Thursday in its filing for an initial public offering. That was up from $384 million in 2017 and $230 million in 2016. Those numbers also include other tech projects, such as a flying car initiative. Uber also warned prospective investors that its adjusted losses would rise in the near term thanks, in part, to those costs.
Uber has invested heavily in self-driving cars, a futuristic technology that could upend its core ride-hailing service. But the company was outspent by at least one rival in the field: Cruise Automation, the General Motors self-driving arm. Last year, Cruise reported spending $728 million and said the amount would top $1 billion in 2019. Alphabet’s Waymo, the veteran in self-driving, does not disclose spending.