Arizona Governor Doug Ducey joined Uber executives and University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart at the College of Optical Sciences to announce an economic development partnership between Uber and UA.
Video – UA
As part of the partnership, which focuses on research and development in the optics space for mapping and safety, Tucson and UA will be the next home of the Uber mapping test vehicles project. Uber mapping test vehicles are already on the streets in Pittsburgh, PA in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University.
Uber is also investing in Arizona’s technology ecosystem with a $25,000 donation to the College of Optical Sciences to support the next generation of optical scientists and engineers continue to explore and develop new and innovative technologies.
Announcing the Uber-University of Arizona economic development partnership, Gov. Ducey said in a release that this is a great day for Uber, for the UA and for the future of innovation in Arizona.
“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,” added Gov. Ducey.
University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart said in the release that UA’s achievements in advanced optics and imaging technologies in particular will help Uber on the ground in Arizona, and added that UA’s global research leadership allows them to join in a collaborative effort that will have great benefit for the state.
Brian McClendon, vice president of advanced technologies for Uber, said in the release that “It’s clear that Arizona welcomes innovation, and we applaud Governor Ducey and the University of Arizona for their eagerness to embrace new technology.”
In conjunction with the Uber-UA announcement, Gov. Ducey also signed an Executive Order supporting the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles in Arizona.
These announcements follow other Uber and tech-friendly policy decisions made by Arizona that have also led to Uber favoring the state for economic development projects. For instance, the passage of ridesharing regulations by Arizona overturned the ban on the company’s operations in the state, and this was quickly followed by the opening of the Uber Center of Excellence in Phoenix with nearly 300 new jobs.
In a blog post announcing the economic development partnership with UA, the company said that Arizona has been a great home for Uber. They add that it’s clear that Arizona is pro-technology and welcomes innovation, and that’s why they are proud to announce that they are investing further in the technology ecosystem in Arizona.