By Amy Goldstein and Josh RoginAssociated PressAUGUSTA, Maine (AP) Uber is hoping to use its new financing initiative to help build a car-buying platform that would allow consumers to choose a brand, make payments, and ultimately get their cars back.
The ride-hailing company is using its new $5.5 billion funding to start an ad agency to help develop its platform, which it said would be a game changers.
Uber said the fund will help finance the creation of a “mobile-first” car-ad network that could be used by millions of people by the end of 2020.
The company said the program will provide the “first-ever vehicle-driven ad network” for the ride-sharing service.
Uber’s new funding, which is set to run through 2019, would allow the company to expand its ad network across more than 50 cities across the country and expand its use of ride-share companies like Lyft and Sidecar.
The program will also help the ride share companies develop their own advertising technology, which could be rolled out to other companies.
Uber hopes to offer its platform as a service in a few years.
The company has said it plans to use the money to build a fully automated fleet of autonomous cars by the 2020s.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said in January that the company was looking at launching an automated fleet by 2021, but he later said it was a long way off.