Uber CEO wants to buy 500,000 Teslas

Tesla Model S

Seemingly not content with rattling the cages of taxi drivers the world over with its revolutionary crowd-sourced ride-sharing app, Uber is now looking to remove drivers from the equation altogether, and has expressed an interest in Tesla's upcoming self-driving car.

In fact, Forbes has reported that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick announced that he wanted to purchase the entire first-year production run of self-driving Teslas, which would amount to some 500,000 vehicles, when manufacturing starts in 2020.

His desire to purchase the vehicles was apparently made to Tesla board member Steve Jurvetson at a recent awards dinner, so we're yet to see whether it was a serious statement of intent.

However, should Tesla fail to bring its self-driving car to market by 2020, Nissan is poised to pounce on what would be a very lucrative deal, as it too is planning to launch its autonomous vehicle tech to market in the same year.

Obviously, there is a long way to go before we'll be able to hail an automated car with just a few taps of a smartphone, not least the hurdle of making self-driving cars safe enough for humans to be removed entirely. This issue is currently being debated by lawmakers around the world as numerous carmakers and tech giants strive to make the technology as infallible as possible.