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Uber riles irate cabbies further with plans to buy 500,000 driverless cars

Taxi booking app Uber has opened up a new front in its bid to turn the taxi industry on its head by buying no less than half a million driverless cars to further automise journeys, according to Tesla.

The American manufacturer aims to be among the first to bring driverless vehicles to market, pencilling in a delivery date of 2020, with one small catch – the vehicles will travel at no more than 25mph in urban areas to begin with.

According to Forbes, Tesla board member Steve Juvertson was informed by Uber chief Travis Kalanick that he would buy all 500,000 of this initial production run if the deadline could be met.

The business title quoted Juvertson as saying: “For those of us who have a chance to be in one, you’ll never go back. I believe they are already safer than my parents.”

Uber is unlikely to endear itself to drivers by promising to wipe out their profession but by improving efficiencies and trimming costs it is already winning over passengers.