Haseeb Awan 

Who is going to win the transportation battle? Car manufacturers, Taxis or the consumers?


So uber launched self driving cars yesterday. It is pretty interesting move since it will basically kills the jobs that they created in the first place. So with Uber every individual can drive for them as per their own schedule, but with self driving cars, there is no schedule. It can run for longer period of times and with very reduced cost. In Uber, majority of the cost is labor, then fuel and then others. So if you replace driver with a machine and fuel with electricity, you are able to create a very efficient transportation. Now add sharing economy where I am in the car with 2 other passengers who are fully or partially going in the direction I am headed. With public transport issues are time delays and walking distance. Now imagine a city with exactly horizontal and vertical roads & uber is running car on every road in straight direction. I can go on and off from one spot to another without walking a lot and because the cars are coming at regular interval, it is as equal as being in my own car. This model can practically replace many car drivers. An average car is parked 95%+ of the time so I don’t need a car anymore because it’s cheaper like bus and efficient like personal car. So with less car ownership, car manufacturers will suffer big time & then the second victim would be public transportation since they are already a loss leader for the city. Uber will lower their ridership & now it would be even more expensive to maintain them, and they might have reduced routes making it even worse. There would be less cars due to shared ridership and this will lead to less congestion on the roads.

Transportation is going to get better and better. Future is bright. It might however enable people to build micro networks that can be connected to a bigger network of fleet. In the end, consumer is going to win !