Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick rang up Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk last year to propose a partnership on self-driving cars, according to an upcoming book.
The discussion came after Apple Inc. invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing , then a fierce competitor of Uber in China. Kalanick pitched Musk on teaming up against Apple, according to Wild Ride , a book by Fortune magazine’s Adam Lashinsky scheduled for release next week.
“I said, ‘Look man, we should partner,’” Kalanick recalled in the book. “Elon spent the rest of the call convincing me that it’s too far out, and it’s not realistic, that I should just stick to what we do best and be focused, or I’m going to f— it all up. That’s when I knew Tesla was competing.”
At the time, Tesla was rolling out the semi-autonomous driving system Autopilot to its vehicles, and work was already underway within Uber on its own self-driving technology. As Musk was playing coy with Kalanick, one of the Uber CEO’s top deputies learned from a Tesla executive that autonomous cars were a top priority for the carmaker, Kalanick said in the book.
Days after the call, Musk put out a 10-year […]