Thanks to a book by Fortune magazine’s Adam Lashinsky called Wild Ride, it was written that Travis Kalanick (CEO of Uber) called up Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla) in 2016 to propose a partnership in the area of self-driving cars.
The book went on to state that Elon then spent the rest of the call with Travis to discourage him on the partnership saying that each company should be focusing on their core strengths. Bloomberg then went on to report that Travis then figured out that Tesla was already in the works of testing and rolling out the autonomous driving technology. At that time, Tesla did roll out their autopilot feature which isn’t a fully autonomous driving solution in their cars.
The rejection by Elon Musk didn’t dissuade Travis from continuing on with his plan to get Uber start on the self-driving program as well. Tesla then went on to continue working with their autonomous driving technology. In an earlier report by Forbes, it noted that in a conversation with a VC, Travis Kalanick has been an admirer of Tesla and if Tesla cars are autonomous by 2020, he wants to buy up all 500,000 units.
Uber recently has been getting their fair share of bad PR due to mistakes made as well as a lawsuit by Waymo, still the company is going full steam ahead.