2019, possibly the year that Uber cuts drivers

for several years ive stated that ultimately Uber wants a driverless fleet. early 2015 sources close to the ride hailing app confirmed they were building a building a research lab to “kickstart autonomous taxi fleet development”. during August of 2016 it was reported that Uber’s self-driving cars would start picking up passengers that month. this was after confirmation they had been testing their technology for 18 months.

also in August 2016 came the announcement that Uber had acquired Otto, a company focusing on self-driving technology that could be fitted into trucks already on the road. many people thought this was odd for a people moving company, not realizing that Otto’s tech would probably be adaptable to passenger cars. the mystery was compounded when Otto made a successful partly autonomous beer delivery.

fast forward to November 2017. a deal was inked that Uber will buy 24’000 XC90s equipped with their self-driving software package from Volvo. delivery will start on these vehicles in 2019. in the beginning of 2015 the Wall Street Journal reported there were 160’000 Uber drivers. other research has found that about 20% of those drivers are considered FT. 20% of 160K is 32K. 24K vehicles could replace those drivers easily because they can be on the road longer than the average FT driver is willing to be out there.

in May (2017) Uber stated they lost $708M for the first three months of this year. while that represents more than a $280M improvement on the lost of $991M for the previous quarter, Uber and its investors want profits. the biggest expense that could be cut and instantly make the company profitable is the share it pays its drivers.

the picture (credit: Business Insider) shows how dramatic savings for autonomous rides:

if Uber or another ride hailing service is your main, or a depended upon portion of your financial foundation you NEED to start planning another revenue source. as ive stated in prior discussions these companies are using drivers to build up their customer base. now that customers are getting dependent on their rides, the companies are hoping they wont lose too many customers once the drivers are eliminated.


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Posted November 24, 2017 by augustusmac in category "gig economy