Saying that Uber had a bad 2017 is a gross understatement, but the ride-hailing service's future is looking bright under the leadership of its new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi.
Khosrowshahi wants for Uber to "get back to normalcy" this year before moving forward with his visions for the troubled company.
Uber Self-Driving Cars On The Road Soon
Khosrowshahi has only been at the helm of Uber for almost six months, but he is already making strides in repairing the reputation of a company that has been besieged by a variety of alleged shady practices and scandals.
One of the first initiatives in getting Uber back on track is the company's development of self-driving cars for use with its ride-hailing services. Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Uber will launch its self-driving cars into the road of certain cities in the United States within the next 18 months.
The driverless vehicles will initially only offer rides to passengers going on specific routes, though. According to Khosrowshahi, full autonomy, which will allow self-driving cars to safely transport passengers to any location, is still "some ways away."
Uber is still developing the technology, and Khosrowshahi said that full autonomy might not arrive until 10 to 15 years now.
Uber To Become Profitable By 2022
The losses of Uber have been piling up as the ride-hailing service pushes for growth around the world. The losses, which reach billions of dollars per year, have been draining Uber's resources. For example, in the third quarter of 2017, Uber booked a loss of $1.46 billion, worse than the $1.06 billion loss that it reported in the previous quarter.
Khosrowshahi, however, told Micklethwait that Uber is heading into a new direction. While the company will continue its aggressiveness in its expansion plans, the CEO promised that Uber will be profitable before 2022.
Uber Flying Cars In 10 Years
Khosrowshahi's plan to turn Uber's operations into a profitable one within a few years is apparently not his most ambitious one. That distinction goes to what is dubbed as uberAir, which is a fleet of flying cars dedicated to provide ride-hailing services.
According to Uber's CEO, the service will take flight within 10 years. The company is developing rotors that are quieter and smaller, which will allow the vehicles to operate with vertical takeoff and landing mechanisms in populated areas.
In April last year, Uber said that it is looking to demonstrate the network of flying vehicles in Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai by 2020.