Governor Doug Ducey Announces New Partnership For Uber, University of Arizona

News Release

August 25, 2015

Signs Executive Order to Pave Way For R&D Of “Self-Driving” Technology In AZ

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today joined Uber executives and University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart at the College of Optical Sciences to celebrate a major economic development partnership between Uber and the UA.

As part of the partnership – which focuses on research and development in the optics space for mapping and safety – the university will become home to Uber’s state-of-the-art mapping test vehicles. Additionally, Uber will donate $25,000 to the College of Optical Sciences to help the next generation of scientists, engineers and researchers continue to explore and develop new, innovative technology.

“This is a great day for Uber, for the UA and for the future of innovation in Arizona,” said Governor Ducey. “Our administration has been keenly focused on helping 21st-century companies like Uber grow their footprint and succeed in our state, and today’s announcement is the latest signal that it’s working. All Arizonans stand to benefit from embracing new technologies – especially when it means new jobs, new economic development, new research opportunities and increased public safety and transportation options for our state. That’s what this partnership is about, and I thank Uber and the University of Arizona for their efforts and commitment to making it happen.”

“It’s clear that Arizona welcomes innovation, and we applaud Governor Ducey and the University of Arizona for their eagerness to embrace new technology,” said Brian McClendon, vice president of advanced technologies for Uber. “Over the last twenty years, technology has helped democratize access to so many services – working in partnership with forward-thinking universities and elected officials across the United States. We’re still in the early days of what’s possible – and I look forward to working with Arizona to make the next step of that journey a reality.”

“This is an exciting new partnership, and I am glad that the UA's global research leadership allows us to join in a collaborative effort that will have great benefit for this state,” said University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart. “Ranked as top-20 public research university by the National Science Foundation, the UA’s role in Arizona’s innovation and knowledge economy is absolutely vital. Our achievements in advanced optics and imaging technologies in particular will help Uber on the ground in Arizona. I’m impressed with Uber’s vision and commitment to this partnership, and grateful for Governor Ducey’s support and leadership in helping to facilitate it.  

In conjunction with today’s announcement – and in keeping with his commitment to support innovation and help business – Governor Ducey today also signed an Executive Order supporting the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles in Arizona.