In a move that could help the ride-hailing company make inroads in the US, Uber on Wednesday announced it was investing $1 billion in a startup that will eventually deliver drones to U.S. cities.
Uber will pay $75 million to a California company called Aereo, which will be able to provide drones that can beam live video to users’ cars.
Uber is also partnering with two companies to test drone delivery services in Pittsburgh and Austin.
The investment follows Uber’s $4 billion investment in a drone-based taxi service in the U.K. that the company is also testing in Pittsburgh.
Uber, which was founded in 2006, has also been testing a drone delivery service in Portland, Oregon.
The company will begin flying its drones to the US next year.
In the US and Canada, Uber said it will offer a fleet of 100 drone-powered cabs and will use the drones to deliver up to 12 passengers to locations where it operates.
The drones will be mounted on Uber vehicles, which drivers will then take to their destinations.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told reporters on Wednesday the drone program is “a huge step forward in terms of a fully autonomous transportation system.”
Uber has said the drones will deliver a package for $300,000.
Kalanicks company has also partnered with the startup Flywheel for testing autonomous taxis.
The startup said it is also developing a pilot program that will test a drone in Pittsburgh to pick up deliveries.
Flywheel is also in talks with Uber to test drones in Austin.